GOES 3

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GOES 3
GOES 3 artist rendering.jpg
Artist's impression of an SMS-series GOES satellite in orbit
Mission type Weather satellite
Operator NOAA
COSPAR ID 1978-062A
Mission duration 35+ years
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type SMS
Manufacturer Ford Aerospace
Launch mass 627 kilograms (1,382 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 16 June 1978, 10:49 (1978-06-16UTC10:49Z) UTC
Rocket Delta 2914
Launch site Cape Canaveral LC-17B
Contractor McDonnell Douglas
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Longitude 135° West (1978-1981)
90° West (1982-1984)
185° West (1985-1987)
129° West (1987-1990)
175° West (1990-1995)
102-110° West (1996—)[1][2]
Slot GOES-WEST (1978-1981)
Perigee 35,800 kilometers (22,200 mi)
Apogee 35,772 kilometers (22,228 mi)
Inclination 14.3 degrees
Period 24 hours

GOES 3, known as GOES-C before becoming operational, is an American geostationary weather and communications satellite. It was originally built for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system,[3] and was launched in June 1978.[4] It is positioned in geostationary orbit, from where it was initially used for weather forecasting in the United States. Since ceasing to function as a weather satellite in 1989, it has been used as a communications satellite, and having spent over thirty one years in operation, it is one of the oldest functioning satellites in orbit.

GOES 3 was built by Ford Aerospace, and is based around the satellite bus developed for the SMS programme.[5] At launch it had a mass of 627 kilograms (1,382 lb).[2]

Launch[edit]

GOES-C was launched using a Delta 2914 carrier rocket flying from Launch Complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.[2] The launch occurred at 10:49 GMT on 16 June 1978, just two minutes short of a year after the previous satellite, GOES 2.[4]

Orbit[edit]

GOES-C on a Delta 2914 before launch

The launch successfully placed GOES-C into a geosynchronous transfer orbit, from which it raised itself to geostationary orbit using an onboard SVM-5 apogee motor. Its insertion into geosynchronous orbit occurred at 03:22 on 17 June.[1]

GOES-C underwent on-orbit testing, and was subsequently redesignated GOES 3. It replaced GOES 1 in service, and was initially operated at 135° West. In 1981, it was moved to 90° West, arriving in 1982, before departing again in 1984. In 1985 it arrived back at 135° West. In 1987 it was moved to 129° West, where it operated until it became unusable for meteorological studies in 1989.

After ceasing operations as a weather satellite, GOES 3 was reassigned for use as a communications satellite. In 1990, it was relocated to 175° West, and in 1995 it was moved again, and has been stationed between 102° and 110° West since 1996. Organisations which have used GOES 3 for communications include Peacesat, who used it to provide communications services to islands in the Pacific Ocean;[6] the University of Hawaii who used it to broadcast educational programmes;[3] the US National Science Foundation, who use it for communications with the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station;[7] and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Index". Geostationary Orbit Catalog. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Wade, Mark. "GOES". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "GOES-3". The GOES Program - ESE 40th Anniversary. NASA. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  4. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  5. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "SMS 1, 2 / GOES 1, 2, 3". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "GOES-7 TRANSITIONED TO HAWAII FOR USE BY PEACESAT STATION, NOAA ANNOUNCES". NOAA. 15 June 1999. Retrieved 14 August 2009. 
  7. ^ "Outliving expectations: Marisat-F2 satellite held on for 32 years, served South Pole for 8". Spaceref. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2009. 
  8. ^ "UCS Satellite Database". Union of Concerned Scientists. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2009.