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Artist's impression of an HS-371-derived GOES satellite
Mission typeWeather satellite
OperatorNOAA / NASA
Mission durationFailed to orbit
7 years (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass660 kilograms (1,460 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date3 May 1986, 22:18 (1986-05-03UTC22:18Z) UTC[1]
RocketDelta 3914 D178
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-17A
ContractorMcDonnell Douglas
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric

GOES-G was a weather satellite to be operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The satellite was designed to sense and monitor meteorological conditions from a geostationary orbit, intended to replace GOES-5 and provide continuous vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and moisture. It was lost due to the launch failure of a Delta 3914 rocket on 3 May 1986.


GOES-G launch.
Explosion 71 seconds after launch.

Launch occurred on May 3, 1986 at 22:18 GMT,[2] aboard Delta 178, the first NASA launch following the Challenger disaster. Seventy-one seconds into the flight, the first stage main engine shut down prematurely due to an electrical fault, and the rocket was destroyed by range safety.


In 2015, director Ridley Scott used the explosion to depict the launch failure of Atlas V carrying the IRIS craft, in "The Martian".[3]


  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
  2. ^ Encyclopedia Astronautica – Delta Archived May 22, 2013, at WebCite
  3. ^ "The Martian (2015) - Trivia". imdb.com. Internet Movie Database.

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