Objectives: Sense meteorological conditions from a fixed location above the Earth;
provide this data to operational forecasters and private interests on
the ground. The satellite was to be placed over the Indian Ocean (west of
SMS 2) so that the coverage of SMS-1, SMS-2 and GOES-1 would include nearly
60 percent of the Earth's surface.
The first operational satellite in NOAA's
geosynchronous weather satellite system, the spacecraft was a cylinder 75
inches in diameter, 106 inches high and weighed 650 pounds. The sides of
the cylinder were covered by 15,000 solar cells which, along with nicad
batteries, provided the power for the craft. A single triangular
magnetometer unit was located on the top of the craft which extended 33".
The spacecraft was spin stabilized and rotated at 100 revolutions per
The principle instrument on board was the Visible Infrared Spin
Scan Radiometer (VISSR) which provided day and night imagery of cloud
conditions over the full-disk. The satellite had the capability to
continuously monitor cataclysmic weather events such as hurricanes and
typhoons, relay meteorological data from over 10,000 surface locations into
a central processing center for incorporation into numerical weather
prediction models, and to perform facsimile transmission of processed
images and weather maps to WEFAX field stations. In addition, a Space
Environment Monitor (SEM) and Data Collection System (DCS) similar to those
on the NOAA polar orbiters were installed.
GOES-1 was placed in a
geostationary orbit directly above the equator, over the Indian Ocean, to
gather data for the Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP). The
satellite was moved to replace SMS-2 (Pacific) when GOES-3 was launched.
Participants: NASA, NOAA, Aeronutronic Ford, McDonnell Douglas
The nine solid rocket motors used to augment the thrust of Delta 116 are shown being jettisoned in this unique photographic sequence taken by a tracking camera during the launch of GOES-1.
October 16, 1975
Deactivated by NASA on March 7, 1985
Cape Canaveral, FL
1968 - 1977
1978 - 1987
1988 - 1997