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The Goes-D meteorological satellite (see figure) was launched September 9 from the Kennedy Space Center. It carried a new type of instrument known as the VAS, or Visible Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer (VISSR) Atmospheric Sounder. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, and t he University of Wisconsin at Madison will conduct a long-term experiment to evaluate this instrument's usefulness in t he prediction of severe local hurricanes, storms, and other short-term weather phenomena.

Previous Goes spacecraft provided day and night, two-dimensional cloud cover photos. Now, the new atmospheric sounder, in addition to this same imaging capability, will be able to measure atmospheric temperatures and moisture at various altitude layers. As with previous Goes satellites the new instrument will provide both day and night cloud cover photos with a resolution of approximately 0.9 km in daylight and 6.9 km at night.