On May 24, 2006, a satellite was launched into space at Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is the 13th geostationary operational environmental satellite to be put into orbit and this one is part of the 3rd generation of GOES satellites. The satellite is made by Boeing after a merger with Hughes Corporation (no, they didn’t Rock the Boat!). Now, it’ll replace the already-operational GOES12 on April 14th.
So, what does this mean to you? Well, really it won’t mean much. There are some changes compared to the currently-used satellite, GOES12, but they really won’t be extremely noticable to the general public.
According to the GOES13 Mission Booklet produced by Boeing, the mission of the satellite is…
The multimission Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) series N through P will be a vital contributor to weather, solar, and space operations and science. GOES N will provide more accurate prediction and tracking of severe storms and other weather phenomena, resulting in earlier and more precise warnings to the public. Supporting NOAA and NASA scientists collecting and analyzing real-time environmental data, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard searching the open seas, GOES N stands ready as the most advanced multimission weather and Earth observation satellite ever built for NOAA geosynchronous operations.
In the mission booklet, Boeing states that the GOES13 will provide more accurate information, including the location of storms. This will allow the NWS to issue better warnings to the public. (I think the improvement will be minor, but a step in the right direction.)