By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A lot will be riding on a NASA rocket on Feb. 27.

“It’s a great big deal,” says Dr. Jamese Sims, NOAA’s satellite products manager. “This is a game changer that we’re extremely excited about launching.”

It will be the newest of the GOES-R Series of weather satellites operated by NOAA. Parked into high-earth orbit, it will link with a twin satellite to provide coverage from New Zealand to the West Coast of Africa, with the U.S. at the center of coverage.

According to Sims, it will see “hurricanes, wildfires, every day weather, severe weather. These satellites have so much more advancement than before.”

The satellites will also give a better view of conditions far off the West Coast of the U.S. as most of the country experiences weather that travels from West to East. Seeing what’s forming further out increases preparation time for whatever is coming. In the case of violent weather, that lead time could help save lives.

“Within NOAA, it is our goal to save lives and property, and make sure we have a weather-ready nation,” Sims said.

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