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NASA to launch GOES-P weather satellite today

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NASA's GOES-P meteorological satellite at Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. A NASA Photo by Jack Pfaller.

WASHINGTON (AFP): The United States is poised to launch the latest in its family of high-tech meteorological satellites that watch storm development and weather conditions on Earth from high in space.

The launch window for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-P (GOES-P) will open at 0617 pm (2317 GMT) on Thursday and close an hour later, US space agency NASA said in a statement on Wednesday.

A Delta IV rocket will carry the satellite to its orbit around 22,000 miles (35,406 kilometres) above the Earth's surface.

From orbit, GOES-P will collect and send back to Earth data that will be used by scientists to monitor weather, make forecasts and issue warnings about meteorological incidents.

The satellite will also detect ocean and land temperatures, monitor space weather, relay communications and provide search-and-rescue support.

The first GOES satellite was launched in 1975. GOES-P is the latest in the most recent generation of US geostationary weather satellites.

GOES-P will be launched for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which oversees the US National Weather Service, by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

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