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Artist's impression of an SMS-series GOES satellite in orbit
Mission type Weather satellite
Operator NOAA / NASA
COSPAR ID 1977-048A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.10061
Mission duration24 years
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type SMS
Manufacturer Ford Aerospace
Launch mass295 kilograms (650 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date16 June 1977, 10:51:00 (1977-06-16UTC10:51Z) UTC
Rocket Delta 2914
Launch site Cape Canaveral LC-17B
Contractor McDonnell Douglas
End of mission
Deactivated5 May 2001, 21:08 (2001-05-05UTC21:09Z) UTC
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Longitude75° West (1977-1978)
100-110° West (1978-1984)
112-114° West (1984-1990)
60° West (1990-1992)
135° West (1992-1995)
177° West (1995-2001) [1] [2]
Perigee altitude35,972 kilometres (22,352 mi)
Apogee altitude36,094 kilometres (22,428 mi)
Period24 hours
Epoch17 May 2016, 10:12:31 UTC [3]

GOES-2, known as GOES-B before becoming operational, was a geostationary weather satellite which was operated by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system. [4] GOES-2 was built by Ford Aerospace, and was based on the satellite bus developed for the Synchronous Meteorological Satellite programme. At launch it had a mass of 295 kilograms (650 lb). [5] It was positioned in geostationary orbit, from where it was used for weather forecasting in the United States. Following its retirement as a weather satellite, it was used as a communications satellite until its final decommissioning in 2001.

Launch of GOES-B on a Delta 2914

GOES-B was launched using a Delta 2914 carrier rocket flying from Launch Complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. [2] The launch occurred at 10:51:00 GMT on 16 June 1977. [6] The launch successfully placed GOES-B into a geostationary transfer orbit, from which it raised itself to geostationary orbit by means of an onboard SVM-5 apogee motor. Its insertion into geosynchronous orbit occurred at 03:26 GMT on 17 June. [1]

Following on-orbit testing, GOES-B was redesignated GOES-2, and replaced SMS-1 at a longitude of 60 degrees west. It was operated as a weather satellite at several different positions until 1993, and was then placed into storage. It was reactivated as a communications satellite in 1995, and moved to 177° West. It was used by Peacesat to provide communications services to islands in the Pacific Ocean, a role in which it was replaced by GOES 7 in 1999, and by the US National Science Foundation for communications with the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station. On 5 May 2001, it was retired to a graveyard orbit. At 21:08 GMT, two hours after the last manoeuvre to remove it from geosynchronous orbit, GOES-2 was commanded to deactivate its communications system, preventing future ground commands being sent to it.

See also


  1. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Index". Geostationary Orbit Catalog. Jonathan's Space Page. Archived from the original on 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  2. ^ a b Wade, Mark. "GOES". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on February 21, 2002. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  3. ^ GOES-2 - Orbit. Heavens Above. Retrieved 2016-17-05.
  4. ^ "GOES-2". The GOES Program - ESE 40th Anniversary. NASA. Archived from the original on 2006-10-04. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  5. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "SMS 1, 2 / GOES 1, 2, 3". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  6. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-08-12.