There are 4 satellites in the GOES-R series. Initially named R, S, T, and U, their names are changed once checked out and in position 22,300 miles above the equator. The first in the series GOES-R was re-named GOES-16. It maintains a position above the equator at 75.2˚ west longitude and keeps watch on the Atlantic Ocean basin. The second in the series GOES-S was re-named GOES-17. It maintains a position above the equator at 137.2˚ west longitude and keeps watch on the Pacific Ocean basin. GOES-T is scheduled to replace GOES-S which has a malfunctioning system limiting its performance.
Our son-in-law works for a company that provides important support for the GOES satellites. He extended an invitation to us to attend the March 2018 launch of GOES-S at the Cape in Florida. We posted about that day in this blog entry. We were invited to attend the launch of GOES-T but COVID restrictions cancelled those plans for everyone. Online coverage let us watch the successful launch.
Launches are normally viewed from ground locations. Camera placements can provide dramatic views up close, through telephoto lenses miles away, and with on-board cameras. Our SIL sent a link to us from two camera views in space. The views were from GOES-16 and GOES-17. The images were captured by the two GOES spacecraft at 30 sec intervals. The video lasts 14 seconds and repeats the launch once.