GOES-10 lifts off

GOES-10NOAA’s GOES-10 Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite is launched from Cape Canaveral into a geosynchronous orbit to monitor weather patterns over the United States. GOES-10 suffers significant hardware issues upon reaching orbit, including the failure of sun-tracking sensors to orient its solar panels, and it will be over a year before it is pressed into operational service in the GOES-WEST orbit by the failure of GOES-9’s attitude control system. GOES-10 will operate there until 2006, when, upon the launch of GOES-11, it takes up a new position, GOES-SOUTH, monitoring South America and watching for Atlantic Ocean hurricane and tropical storm formation. It will be briefly moved back into the GOES-EAST orbit in late 2007, and with just enough maneuvering fuel left to boost it, it will finally be retired to the above-geostationary “graveyard” orbit in 2009.