GOES-8 STATUS last update: 15 April 2004


The GOES-8 spacecraft was operational as GOES-EAST at 75W, working until 9 years after launch (with a 5 year design life).

After launch, there was at least 6 years of station-keeping fuel remaining on GOES-I, and at least 7 years of full electrical power. As of early 2002, the satellite had sufficient power and fuel to operate for at least two more years, although there is no longer enough fuel to maintain the orbital inclination to within 0.5 degree of the equator.

GOES-12 was activated as GOES-EAST in the spring of 2003. There was an elaborate plan to swap-in-place with GOES-8 to provide as much data continuity as possible.

GOES-8 Results are on-line.

In October 2003, the primary attitude control computer (AOCE#2) developed troubles that triggered the SAFE HOLD mode on the spacecraft. Transfer of control to the secondary computer (AOCE#1) is being investigated.

As of January 2004, GOES-8 was on standby in an inclined orbit, still potentially useful.

For a geosynchronous spacecraft, deorbit consists of raising the orbit at least 300 km above the geosynchronous altitude at all points.

On May 4 and 5, GOES-8 will be be boosted to supersynchronous orbit via three planned deorbit maneuvers. The first maneuver is scheduled for May 4 at 1400z for 73.9 seconds, the second one is scheduled for May 5 at 0200z for 150.0 seconds, and the third one is scheduled for May 5 at 1400z for 81.3 seconds.


GOES-I's night launch on 13 April 1994 was on a picturesque Atlas-Centaur rocket and animated by the mid-night conditions. The first official visible image was taken 9 May 1994.


The Imager cranks out two to four multispectral pictures per hour of the CONUS region, and one full-disk every three hours.


The Sounder is producing products for NOAA.


The GOES-EAST baseline schedule calls for 4 looks hourly at the continental United States, plus hourly northern hemisphere soundings. NESDIS data products (remapped images, winds, soundings, etc.) are still being phased in and evaluated for NWS forecast offices.

GOES-EAST has a complicated Imager schedule. The routine scanning schedule is being exercised most of the time by NOAA. The rapid (7.5 minute intervals) and super-rapid (1 minute intervals) scan modes are occasionally exercised for severe storms.

GOES-8 delivers WEFAX routinely to the western hemisphere, which is particularly useful in Central and South America.

Known Failures

The electro-mechanical failures on GOES-I have all been in redundant systems. There have been other temporary outages.

Lessons Learned from the GOES-I Experience

Post-launch Schedule

SCHEDULE                               DATE
 Launch                                 April 13, 1994
 Circularize Orbit                      April 14-27
 Deployments                            April 27 - May 1
 Start-ups and liveness tests           May 1-9
 Outgassing and engineering tests       May 10-30
   first official visible image          May 9
   first official infrared image         May 31
   first official Sounder data           June 6
 Functional tests                       June 1-20
 Image and Navigation spin-up           June 20 - August 20
  Image every 1/2 hour, Sounder off      July 1 - July 24
  Imager routine, Sounder spin-up        July 25 - Aug 21
  NOAA crew starts                       August 22
 Routine Imaging and Sounding           August 22 - September 3
 Special Science testing                September 4 - September 18
 Performance evaluation                 September 19 - October 12
 NOAA operations spin-up                October 12-26
 Image and Navigation Tuneup            October 26 - November 30
 NOAA pseudo-operations                 December 1994 - May 1995
 GOES-EAST operations begin             June 9, 1995
 3-year forecast End-Of-Life            April, 1997
 5-year design End-Of-Life              April, 1999
************************************** YOU ARE HERE ********************

GOES Project