Nasa launches revolutionary weather satellite

A satellite that is expected to revolutionise weather forecasting launches from Cape Canaveral on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

FLORIDA (REUTERS) - A US weather satellite that will "revolutionise" forecasting blasted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral on Saturday (Nov 19), promising to deliver continuous high-definition views of hurricanes and other storms over the Western Hemisphere

A detailed stream of images provided by the satellite is expected to sharpen weather forecasts, provide more advanced warning of floods and better tracking of wildfires, plumes and volcanic ash clouds.

Carried atop an Atlas 5 rocket, the GOES-R satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6.42pm EST (7am on Sunday, Singapore time).

Once in position 35,888km above the equator, GOES-R is designed to take a complete picture of the hemisphere every five minutes while simultaneously zooming in on specific regions to monitor fires, volcanic eruptions, heavy rainfall and storms.

The heart of the new satellite is a high-resolution camera, designed and built Exelis Inc, a subsidiary of Harris Corp. It can see in 16 wavelengths, compared with five available with the current system.