360° Photos of the GOES-R Weather Satellite Launch.

On November 19 2016 at 6:42pm United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched the next generation GOES-R weather satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

360° virtual reality panoramic image of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket escaping Earths gravity as it lifts the GOES-R satellite into orbit.

VR image is best viewed in full screen

HD 360° video of the launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Video recorded on a Ricoh Theta S

About The GOES-R Satellite

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) is the nation’s next generation of geostationary weather satellites. The GOES-R series will significantly improve the detection and observation of environmental phenomena that directly affect public safety, protection of property and our nation’s economic health and prosperity.

The satellites will provide advanced imaging with increased spatial resolution and faster coverage for more accurate forecasts, real-time mapping of lightning activity, and improved monitoring of solar activity.

The GOES-R series is a four-satellite program (GOES-R/S/T/U) that will extend the availability of the operational GOES satellite system through 2036.

The new satellite system will provide:

  • Improved hurricane track and intensity forecasts
  • Increased thunderstorm and tornado warning lead time
  • Earlier warning of ground lightning strike hazards
  • Better detection of heavy rainfall and flash flooding risks
  • Improved aviation flight route planning
  • Improved air quality warnings and alerts
  • Better fire detection and intensity estimation
  • Improved solar flare warnings for communications and navigation disruptions
  • More accurate monitoring of energetic particles responsible for radiation hazards to humans and spacecraft
  • Better monitoring of space weather to improve geomagnetic storm forecasting

Remote environmental sensing is only part of the GOES-R mission. The satellites will also provide unique capabilities to relay data directly to users to meet critical needs.


DCS is a satellite relay system used to collect information from Earth-based data collection platforms that transmit in-situ environmental sensor data from more than 20,000 platforms across the hemisphere.


GRB is the primary space relay of Level 1b products, replacing the GVAR (GOES VARiable) service. GRB will provide full resolution, calibrated, navigated, near real-time direct broadcast data.


Weather Information Network (HRIT/EMWIN) EMWIN is a direct service that provides users with weather forecasts, warnings, graphics and other information directly from the National Weather Service (NWS) in near real-time. HRIT service is a new high data rate (400 Kpbs) version of today’s LRIT (Low Rate Information Transmission), broadcasting GOES-R satellite imagery and selected products to remotely-located user terminals.


The SARSAT system detects and locates mariners, aviators and other recreational users in distress. GOES-R will continue the legacy function of the SARSAT system on board NOAA’s GOES satellites. This system uses a network of satellites to quickly detect and locate signals from emergency beacons onboard aircraft, vessels and from handheld personal locator beacons. The GOES-R SARSAT transponder will operate with a lower uplink power than the current system (32 bBm), enabling GOES-R to detect weaker beacon signals.

Learn more about this next-gen weather satellite on the official government website.