John Wheeler, WDAY, Published April 21 2012
Weather Talk: Weather satellite retired to higher-orbit graveyardThe GOES-7 weather satellite was retired this week after a long and useful career in orbit.
Rather unceremoniously, the satellite was placed into a higher orbit, 186 miles above Earth, known as the satellite graveyard.
Launched in 1987, GOES-7 was a great advancement in weather satellite technology at the time, providing greater detail of storms than had been possible before.
Originally positioned to provide coverage over the eastern Pacific and western North America, GOES-7 was moved to the middle of North America for five years after GOES-6 failed in 1989. Had the GOES-7 also failed during those years, there would have been no geostationary satellite coverage of the United States. But the GOES-7 worked magnificently, providing imagery of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the infamous East Coast “Blizzard of the Century” in 1993.
The current satellites, GOES-13 and 15, are expected to be replaced by a superior generation of technology in 2015.
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