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Watch: Atlas V rocket launches weather satellite

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launched the GOES-R satellite into orbit Saturday evening.

The launch window was from 5:42 p.m. until 6:42 p.m. and the rocket launched right at 6:42 p.m.

NASA describes the GOES-R satellite as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s “most sophisticated meteorological spacecraft of its kind.”

Once the satellite is launched more than 22,000 miles above earth, it will use its sensors to track weather conditions, watch storms and produce real-time maps of lightning activity.

“This remarkable spacecraft and the instruments it holds embody what NOAA and the aviation, aerospace, and private weather enterprises have been conceptualizing for years,” said NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan. “GOES-R will serve as the vital foundation for the Weather-Ready Nation we are building. Not only will its data help forecasters increase our watch and warning times, but will help our communities and businesses build smarter, stay safer, and remain resilient to global change.”