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Atlas V rocket will launch powerful GOES-T weather satellite today. Here's how to watch live.

A powerful Earth-observation satellite will launch to orbit today (March 1), and you can watch the action live.

The GOES-T weather satellite is scheduled to lift off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station today during a two-hour window that opens at 4:38 p.m. EST (2138 GMT)

You can watch the launch live here at Space.com courtesy of NASA, or directly via the space agency (opens in new tab). Coverage will begin at 4 p.m. EST (2100 GMT).

Related: 10 devastating signs of climate change that satellites can see from space

NASA's Launch Services Program is managing the liftoff of GOES-T, but the satellite will be operated by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) once it's aloft. 

GOES-T is the third spacecraft in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES)-R Series, which NOAA officials describe as "the Western Hemisphere’s most sophisticated weather-observing and environmental-monitoring system."

"The GOES-R Series provides advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements, real-time mapping of lightning activity and monitoring of space weather," NOAA officials wrote in a description of the program.

GOES-T is destined for geostationary orbit, about 22,300 miles (35,900 kilometers) above Earth's surface. Once it gets there, the satellite will be renamed GOES-18. After mission managers finish checking out GOES-18's systems and scientific instruments, it will enter service as GOES-West, replacing the GOES-17 satellite in that role. GOES-17 will become an orbiting spare. (Yes, the nomenclature is very confusing.) 

GOES-18 will work together with GOES-16, which is currently serving as GOES-East, to "watch over more than half the globe — from the west coast of Africa to New Zealand," NOAA officials wrote in a mission description (opens in new tab).

Mike Wall is the author of "Out There (opens in new tab)" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab)

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Mike Wall
Mike Wall

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com (opens in new tab) and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.