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GOES-14 Activated to Replace Failed GOES-13

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 23-May-2013
Updated: 23-May-2013 12:17 PM

The NOAA Satellite and Information Service posted a notice on its Facebook page this morning announcing that the GOES-14 satellite is now online to replace GOES-13, which failed on Tuesday.  Efforts continue to fix GOES-13.

GOES-13 failed last year and was temporarily replaced by GOES-14, an on-orbit spare that is in place for just such an eventuality.  NOAA uses two geostationary satellites, dubbed GOES-East and GOES-West because of their geographical positions, as part of its weather satellite system that also includes polar orbiting satellites.  NOAA posted imagery on Facebook of the May 20 devastating Oklahoma tornado taken by GOES-13 before the satellite failed.

NOAA strives to have spare satellites already in orbit ready to take over if one of its operational satellites fails.  GOES-13 was launched in 2006 and was itself a spare until it was placed into the GOES-East position in 2010.  GOES-14 was launched in 2009.   GOES-15 is the operational GOES-West satellite.   NOAA is developing a new generation of geostationary satellites, designated "GOES-R," with the first launch scheduled for 2015.

NOAA engineers were able to restore GOES-13 to service last year, and GOES-14 returned to its spare status.   As of this morning, GOES-14 is back on duty while GOES-13 is in storage mode.


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