GOES-O was launched on a Delta IV with two solids to nearly direct injection to geo-orbit. The use of the main rocket to get to orbit will save fuel on the spacecraft, and achieve at least 10 years of fuel lifetime (5 years of on orbit storage, and 5 years of operations).
If GOES-O were stored on the earth, it would have to be to be called out of storage to replace an on-orbit failure. There would be 9 to 12 months of preparation between call-up and launch, followed by 3 months of post-launch deployment and testing before it could become operational. On-orbit storage reduces this delay to less than a week, and avoids the chance of a launch failure when you can least afford it.
As of March 2006, the GOES-O launch date was planned for 7 July 2007.
As of January 2009, the GOES-O launch date was planned for 28 April 2009.
When a fuel leak was discovered in early April, the launch date was moved to 12 May 2009.
In late April, when Range Safety became concerned about the self-destruct mechanism on the launch vehicle, the launch was postponed to no earlier than 26 June 2009
On June 27, 2009, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-O, soared into space during a spectacular launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. GOES-O has now been renamed and its solar array has been deployed.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) GOES-O satellite is the second in the GOES N Series that will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world.
Since the launch, the NASA operation and engineering team located at the NOAA Satellite Operation Facility have performed a series maneuvers designed to place the satellite in its proper orbit. They completed five liquid apogee motor burns designed to raise the GOES-O orbit perigee to approximately 22,300 miles above the Earth. GOES-O became GOES-14 once it reached its geosynchronous orbit at 89.5 degrees west longitude on July 8, 2009.
The operations team successfully deployed the solar array on July 9 at 4:55 p.m. EDT. After the deployment the spacecraft was put in a Sun Acquisition Mode. All the spacecraft subsystems are reporting nominal performance," said Andre' Dress GOES N-P Deputy Project Manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The magnetometer boom deployment is planned for July 13, 2009. The first visible image from the ITT built Imager is planned for July 27, 2009.
"Today the GOES O spacecraft and the operation team achieved another critical milestone with the deployment of the solar Array," Dress said. "The spacecraft continues to meet all our expectations and the performance of the operations team is exemplary. We have much more work yet to do, but we are elated with the success to date."
Boeing will hand over engineering control to NASA for daily commanding on July 17, 2009. It will take NASA approximately 5 months to complete the on-orbit checkout and then operational control of GOES-14 will be transferred to NOAA. The satellite will be checked out, stored in orbit and available for activation should one of the operational GOES satellites degrade or exhaust its fuel.
NASA contracted with Boeing to build and launch the GOES-14 spacecraft. NASA's Launch Services Program at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida supported the launch in an advisory role. NOAA manages the GOES program, establishes requirements, provides all funding and distributes environmental satellite data for the United States. Goddard procures and manages the design, development and launch of the satellites for NOAA on a cost-reimbursable basis.
After GOES-13 returned to service in mid-October 2012, GOES-14 remained parked near 90W, until mid-December 2012, after which it returned to its parking space at 105W in February 2013.