Artists concept of the GOES-T satellite in orbit Credit Lockheed Martin

Mission critical: Space Operations supports NASA GOES-T launch

Artists concept of the GOES-T satellite in orbit Credit Lockheed Martin

Artist’s concept of the GOES-T satellite in orbit. Credit: Lockheed Martin


The SANSA Space Operations team at Hartebeeshoek is currently supporting the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) T mission aboard the Atlas 5 (AV-095) rocket.

“GOES-T is a new weather satellite by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) commissioned to track hazardous weather activities including solar flares, wildfires and cyclones.”

In addition to providing weather predictions, GOES-T will allow science researchers and weather forecasters to access critical data and imagery. NASA envisages that data observed will improve the understanding of space weather and climate models, ultimately helping to mitigate potential risks to our planet.

How it happened

HBK team members

Some of the HBK team members who supported GOES-T (from left to right): Norton Mahada (Senior Systems Technician), Mutshutshu Nephiphidi (Senior Systems Technician)  and Carlos de Oliveira (Principal Technician)

The mission was launched on 1 March 2022 by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, USA. GOES-T took off at a target orbit of 35 286km apogee, 8 876km perigee and 9.4 degrees inclination.

“The real work for SANSA began as early as June 2021. We undertook nine months of meticulous testing because we knew that we only had one opportunity to acquire telemetry from GOES-T. The actual launch took place on 1 March at 21:38 GMT and SANSA HBK ground station acquired it at 23:53 GMT on 3 March 2022, approximately 24 hours after the launch, thanks to our two roaming S-band antennas”, said SANSA Space Operations Business Manager, Tiaan Strydom.

Quick GOES-T stats

  • 9th orbital launch from Cape Canaveral for 2022
  • 3rd NOAA weather satellite launched on an Atlas 5
  • 103rd launch from Complex 41
  • 76th Atlas 5 to use Complex 41


Locally, this was the fourth time that the Hartebeeshoek ground station has provided NASA with GOES support.

Jacques Kichenbrand