A new satellite set to launch later this month from Cape Canaveral will help weather forecasters better predict hurricanes and assist in pinpointing distress signals to trigger search-and-rescue operations.
The $499 million GOES-O (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) will orbit about 22,000 miles above Earth, sending back high-resolution images for the next 10 years.
''This is really exciting. Hopefully, we'll see marked improvements in our ability to forecast,'' said Joe Schaefer, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center.
``It's going to guarantee the availability of state-of-the-art satellite data for the next decade.''
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