The Next Generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) -T successfully arrived at Kennedy Space Center, Florida on November 10, 2021, to begin preparations for launch.
It is the third of four satellites in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GOES-R series of weather satellites built by Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado.
GOES-T will help NOAA provide forecasters in the United States and the Western Hemisphere with sharper, more defined images of severe storms, hurricanes, wildfires and other weather hazards.
“The technology and instruments we have developed for the GOES-R series allow GOES-T to observe Earth and space weather faster and more accurately than ever,” said Jagdeep Shergill, Engineer. Head of Lockheed Martin GOES-R. “Lockheed Martin has built over 100 weather and environmental observation spacecraft throughout our history, and we couldn’t be more excited to add GOES-T to this lineup as we continue to evolve technology into the future with every system we build. “
Hitchhiking with a friend
Since GOES-T is the size of a small school bus, it needed a spacious ride to Florida. For this, the team looked no further than the Super Galaxy C-5M aircraft built by Lockheed Martin.
To protect GOES-T’s sensitive and state-of-the-art instruments, the Lockheed Martin team enclosed the spacecraft in a shipping container that functioned as its own miniature cleanroom environment.
For the first time in nearly 100 years, members of the public walked the plaza of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and laid flowers to personally honor the unknowns.
The event is one of many at Arlington National Cemetery marking the centenary of the gravesite, the graves of three unknown soldiers, and a symbolic tribute to the memory of all U.S. servicemen throughout history.
Families with young children and other civilians, veterans and military all lined up for the opportunity to approach the sacred space, many offering prayers or greetings in addition to flowers.
The two-day ceremony opened on November 9 with remarks, performances and offerings from representatives of the Crow Nation, an echo of 100 years earlier, when Chief Crow Plenty Coups attended the burial service of the first unknown soldier on November 11, 1921..
The flower ceremony was to end with the same blessing given by the army’s first chief chaplain in 1921.
Volunteers gave flowers to those who did not bring theirs. Cemetery officials said the flowers will be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner, with some kept for historical purposes.
Walking by the grave is a privilege reserved for the sentries of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment, known as “the Old Guard,” who have guarded the site around the clock for decades. The tomb wardens themselves traditionally place flowers on the tomb as an offering of respect when they take their last walk.
The sentries continued their vigil during the flower ceremony, although they changed their traditional position, marching on the east side of the tomb to allow public access.