CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) —The most advanced weather satellite ever built is now in space.

NASA declared the launch from Florida a success following separation from the upper stage of the unmanned Atlas V rocket. It came 3 1/2 hours after a liftoff that was delayed an hour by rocket and other problems.

The GOES-R satellite — valued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at $1 billion —is the first in a series of four high-tech satellites. The acronym stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite.

The mission is part of an $11 billion effort by the United States to revolutionize forecasting and save lives.

The satellite will track U.S. weather as never before: hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning storms, even solar flares. It's aiming for a 22,300-mile-high equatorial orbit.


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