Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

All systems 'go' on new GOES weather satellite
Posted: August 23, 2000

An artist's concept of the latest GOES weather satellite in space. Photo: NOAA
The nation's newest geostationary weather satellite, GOES-11, has successfully completed testing and is ready to replace one of the country's older weather satellites when needed, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has announced.

GOES satellite images are best known to television viewers as the cloud images, including hurricane images, that are shown on weather forecasts.

GOES-11, which was launched May 3, 2000, is currently stored in orbit, ready to replace GOES-8 or -10 when one of them fails. GOES-8 overlooks the east coast of North and South America, and well out into the Atlantic Ocean. GOES-10 overlooks the west coast and out into the Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii.

"Having this satellite to back up the GOES system is very important, especially during hurricane season," said Gerry Dittberner, of NOAA's advanced systems office. "If one of the older GOES satellites fails, GOES-11 can be pressed into service without delay. With GOES-11 stored in orbit, we will be able to receive data within two days of activation."

NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service operates the GOES series of satellites at NOAA's Satellite Operations Control Center in Suitland, Md. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center manages the design, development, and launch of the GOES spacecraft for NOAA. Once a satellite is successfully checked out, NASA turns it over to NOAA for operations, including responsibility for command and control, data receipt, and product generation and distribution.

For the past several months GOES-11 has been tested by NASA, NOAA, and contract engineers. NASA turned GOES-11 over to NOAA on August 17.