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. 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). 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.
Artist's impression of an SMS-series GOES satellite in orbit
|Mission type||Weather satellite|
|Operator||NOAA / NASA|
|Mission duration||24 years|
|Launch mass||295 kilograms (650 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||16 June 1977, 10:51:00UTC|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral LC-17B|
|End of mission|
|Deactivated||5 May 2001, 21:08UTC|
|Longitude||75° 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)
|Perigee altitude||35,972 kilometres (22,352 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||36,094 kilometres (22,428 mi)|
|Epoch||17 May 2016, 10:12:31 UTC|
GOES-B was launched using a Delta 2914 carrier rocket flying from Launch Complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch occurred at 10:51:00 GMT on 16 June 1977. The launch successfully placed GOES-B into a geosynchronous 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.
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.
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