Outage Forces GOES-14 into Service over Eastern U.S.

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PARIS — The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) on Sept. 24 said it has moved a spare geostationary weather satellite, GOES-14, into position to replace the GOES-13 satellite that suffered an unexplained outage Sept. 23 that engineers have been unable to fix.

“GOES-14 will remain the primary GOES satellite over the Atlantic basin and Continental U.S. until the imager and sounder data issues on GOES-13 can be fully diagnosed and hopefully fixed,” NOAA said in a statement. 

GOES-13, a Boeing BSS-601 model launched in 2006 and operating at 74.6 degrees west in geostationary orbit, suffered a loss of its sounder and imager during separate but apparently related incidents Sept. 23. After initially using the GOES-15 satellite at 135 degrees west to cover at least part of the GOES-13 function, NOAA took GOES-14 out of in-orbit storage at 105.6 degrees west to replace GOES-13 for an undetermined period of time. GOES-14 was launched in June 2009. GOES-15 was launched in March 2010.

GOES-13 was designed to operate for at least 10 years.

Lockheed Martin Space System, Denver, is working under a NASA-administered contract to build the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R series of spacecraft, the first of which is slated to launch in 2015. That satellite will be renamed GOES-16 after it reaches orbit.