Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) geostationary operational environmental satellite (GOES-P) has been launched from a Delta IV rocket.

GOES-P, to be renamed GOES-15, is the third spacecraft in the GOES N-P Series of geostationary environmental weather satellites launched to improve weather forecasting and monitoring of environmental events.

The GOES-P imager has a resolution accuracy of 1km from an altitude of 22,240 miles above the Earth’s surface.

Nasa GOES deputy project manager Andre Dress said the hard work and dedication of his team over the last 12 years had paid off.

The Boeing-built satellite joins four other NOAA spacecraft, and will be stored on orbit and activated when one of the operational spacecraft, GOES-11 or GOES-12, degrade or exhaust their fuel.

NOAA currently has two operational GOES satellites, GOES-12 in the east and GOES-11 in the west. GOES-13 will soon be activated to replace GOES-12.

Boeing has received the first on-orbit signals from the spacecraft and is ready to begin thruster firings to move to its test location.

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Nasa will transfer operational control of the craft after five months of in-orbit testing.