By John Fenton

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Crews at Kennedy Space Center are preparing for Thursday’s planned launch of the Colorado-built GOES-S weather satellite.

(credit: CBS)

GOES-S boasts state-of-the-art technology that will help CBS4 meteorologists to better predict severe weather.

(credit: CBS)

It was built by Lockheed Martin in Littleton, and will ride to space atop the United Launch Alliance’s “Atlas V” rocket. CBS4 was given the opportunity to tour the facilities and meet the crews in Florida that will help send it to orbit.

(credit: CBS)

The rocket and payload were rolled onto Pad 41 early Wednesday morning.

(credit: CBS)

ULA engineers then oversaw the Atlas V fueling process from its Spaceflight Operations Center on the Kennedy Space Center grounds. Launch commands will come from a room with observers at ULA’s Colorado headquarters only stepping in if the need for troubleshooting arises.

(credit: CBS)

Boeing, which partners with Lockheed to operate ULA, also offered an update on its “Starliner” project.

The spacecraft currently under development has room for seven crew members and cargo, and will lead the way in the U.S. effort to once again be able to send its own astronauts to space.

“Starliner’s” design differs from its predecessors in that it will touch down on land rather than splash down in water on its return trips to earth. This will allow crews to re-certify the craft for up to ten missions, rather than a single use.


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