conditions from a fixed location above the Earth; provide this data
to operational forecasters and private interests on the ground. This
satellite was designed to replace SMS-1 over the Atlantic.
The second 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
monitor cataclysmic weather events (such as hurricanes and
typhoons) continuously; 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-2 was placed in a geostationary orbit directly over the equator over 60W in order to replace
SMS-1. The WEFAX system on this satellite is still operational, although
cloud images are no longer being received from this system.
Participants: NASA, NOAA, Ford Aerospace, McDonnell Douglas
June 16, 1977
1975-1993. Re-activated in 1995 to broadcast NSF transmissions from the South Pole to public broadcasting facilities in the U.S.
Cape Canaveral, FL
1968 - 1977
1978 - 1987
1988 - 1997