GOES-12 goes a little haywire

GOES-11NOAA’s GOES-12 Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite is launched from Cape Canaveral into geosynchronous orbit to monitor weather patterns over the United States. It will be held in reserve until 2003, when it will be moved to the GOES-EAST position to replace GOES-8, which is nearly out of fuel. Though GOES-11 has been in orbit longer than GOES-12, this satellite is activated first to use a solar imaging instrument (which will fail in 2006). Once in its active position, GOES-12 suffers from chronic thruster problems due to errors made during wiring of its primary and backup maneuvering thrusters; one outage will prove to be severe enough that the still-active GOES-10 must cover GOES-EAST coverage. In 2008, another thruster glitch will cause GOES-12 to temporarily lose all attitude control. In 2010, GOES-13 will replace GOES-12 in the GOES-EAST orbit thanks to the continued attitude control issues; GOES-12 remains in orbit as a backup.