Public Star Night – Friday 18 January 2019 – Tim Gasparrini – GOES Weather Satellites

Our Speaker this month is Tim Gasparrini. Mr. Gasparrini is the GOES-R program manager and vice president at Lockheed Martin Aerospace who is the builder of the GOES spacecraft. Tim will tell us about the GOES program, its mission and history and the new GOES-17 spacecraft which was just launched in March of this year.

GOES-17 (formerly GOES-S) is the second of the current generation of weather satellites operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The four satellites of the series (GOES-16, -17, -T, and -U) will extend the availability of the GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system) until 2036 for weather forecast and meteorology research. NOAA’s most recent GOES series of satellites is designed to improve the forecasts of weather, ocean, and environment by providing faster and more detailed data, real-time images of lightning, and advanced monitoring of solar activities and space weather. GOES-17 can collect three times more data at four times image resolution, and scan the planet five times faster than previous probes.

Mr. Gasparrini joined Martin Marietta in 1984 and has held various mechanical engineering assignments on the Mars Global Surveyor, STARDUST, Mars Odyssey, and Mars 2001 Lander Programs. In 2008, Tim was selected as the Mechanical Manager on the GRAIL Program. IN 2009 Tim became program manager for the JUNO spacecraft mission to Jupiter and then in 2011 Director of Space Exploration Systems. After that in 2014 Tim was appointed GOES program manager and a Lockheed Martin Vice President. With the formation of the Commercial Civil Space Line of Business in 2017, Tim was selected as the Deputy for the organization.
Tim holds a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering from The Florida Institute of Technology and an MS in Civil Engineering and an MBA from the University of Colorado.

Weather permitting after the presentation, visitors will be invited to look through our large telescope at various celestial objects. Public star nights are held the third Friday of each month, except July, when we are closed for annual maintenance.
If you have any questions, please call the observatory information line at 970-613-7793
or check the LTO web site at

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