Next-Generation Weather Sentinel Rides to Orbit atop Atlas V Powerhouse

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket pierced into the afternoon clouds over Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Thursday, carrying into orbit a critical U.S. weather satellite set to join a sister spacecraft launched one and a half years ago to complete NOAA’s high-orbiting constellation of next-generation weather sentinels.

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Atlas V to Add Second Next-Generation Satellite to U.S. GOES Weather Constellation

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket rolled to its Cape Canaveral launch pad on Wednesday in preparation for liftoff Thursday afternoon with the second in the next-generation of U.S. Geostationary Weather Satellites to complete the operational constellation with two sharply-eyed weather assets watching over the Western Hemisphere from their high-altitude perch.

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2017 Space Launch Statistics

The year 2017 saw a total of 90 known orbital launch attempts from seven nations and space ports in eight different countries. 2017 had the second most orbital launch attempts of any year in the current century, short of 92 launches in 2014 and showing a slight increase from 2016 that had 85 known launch attempts.

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