By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – The second in a series of new weather satellites is scheduled to launch from Florida Thursday evening.

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GOES-S Atlas V Centaur Stage Transported to VIF. (credit: NASA)

It’s part of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) – R Series, known as the nation’s most advanced fleet of geostationary weather satellites. It was built in Littleton, Colorado.

The GOES-R series of satellites will provide advanced imaging with increased spatial resolution and faster coverage for more accurate forecasts, real-time mapping of lightning activity, and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.

GOES-R, now known as GOES-16, launched into space on November 19, 2016. It covers the eastern half of the United States.

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GOES-S is scheduled to launch this Thursday (March 1) between 5:02 and 7:02 pm ET from Florida.

Once in orbit and operational it will be renamed GOES-17 and will cover the western half of the United States, including Colorado.

Click here to learn more about this satellite.

Up next in the series will be GOES-T, which is scheduled to be launched in 2020.

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(credit: NASA)

Meteorologist Chris Spears travels weekly in the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab reporting about Colorado’s weather and climate. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.