As NOAA prepares to launch its second next-generation geostationary orbit weather satellite, it is continuing discussions with the U.S. Air Force about transferring one of its older spacecraft.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationannounced plans Jan. 8 to retire its decade-old Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) 13 to make way for its next generation: GOES 16 launched in 2016 and GOES-S scheduled to launch in March.
The fiscal year 2018 budget request for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offers full funding for ongoing major weather satellite programs while deferring work on future efforts.
The government watchdog removed NOAA's GOES geostationary orbit weather satellite program, which successfully launched in November.
The first in a new generation of geostationary orbit weather satellites is performing well in its initial post-launch tests, although months of work lie ahead before the satellite is declared operational.
The Air Force is considering taking over an existing geostationary orbit weather satellite operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help fill a gap in coverage over the Indian Ocean.
A meeting of atmospheric and space scientists this week will feature enthusiasm about a new generation of weather satellites tempered by uncertainty about the future of key programs in the Trump administration.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s campaign to sustain its fleet of polar-orbiting environmental satellites would receive more money next year even as NOAA’s overall space spending would dip slightly under the 2017 budget plan the White House sent Congress Feb. 9.
House lawmakers scolded NOAA’s top satellite official here during a Dec. 10 hearing about a lack of transparency in the civilian agency’s major geostationary weather satellite program, which recently fell six months behind schedule on launching its next spacecraft.