NOAA Deactivates GOES-10 After 12 Years of Service

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officially deactivated its Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-10 (GOES-10) Dec. 2, bringing an end to the weather satellite’s 12-year mission.

NOAA began deactivating GOES-10 Dec. 1, firing the spacecraft’s booster to raise the satellite’s orbit nearly 300 kilometers above its normal 35,400-kilometer operating altitude. The agency completed the decommissioning Dec. 2 by conducting a third and final burn that put the satellite safely into a graveyard orbit.

GOES-10 was launched in April 1997 and positioned as NOAA’s GOES-West satellite. In 2006, GOES-11 replaced GOES-10, which was then repositioned to support hurricane forecasting efforts in South America.

NOAA said in a press release that it anticipates moving GOES-12 to provide coverage for South America by May 2010.

NOAA has four GOES spacecraft in orbit. In addition to GOES-11 and GOES-12, the agency has GOES-13 in orbital storage and GOES-14, which launched this spring and is undergoing post-launch tests.

The agency’s GOES-R series is in development and slated to begin launching in 2015.