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SPACE DOOM: $11 Billion Dollar Weather Satellite GOES Is Malfunctioning...


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s newest weather satellite—part of the $11 billion Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite constellation set to operate for the next 20 years—is broken and officials still aren’t sure what’s wrong or how to fix it. Launched in March, the GOES-17 satellite was set to monitor weather events and natural disasters such as wildfires or volcanic eruptions in the western half of the United States, but officials identified cooling issues with the satellite’s primary instrument in May. Officials told reporters Tuesday that two review teams consisting of NOAA, NASA and industry personnel continue to investigate what’s wrong with the Advanced Baseline Imager instrument and how to mitigate the loss to ensure weather forecasters on the ground continue to get high-quality satellite data. In the meantime, GOES-17 remains in a holding pattern orbit 22,000 miles above the Earth’s surface, and the launch dates of two future GOES satellites, the next of which is scheduled for 2020, could be pushed back if experts and engineers aren’t able to figure out what went wrong with the older sibling satellite. Source

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