NOAA retires polar-orbiting satellite

Satellite exceeded anticipated lifespan by eight years

April 10, 2013

POES Satellite in orbit.

After nearly 11 years of helping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict weather and climate patterns and save lives in search and rescue operations, NOAA announced today it has turned off the NOAA-17 Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite (POES). It was one of NOAA’s longest operating spacecraft, which have a typical lifespan of three years.This Image is from the last operational morning orbit of NOAA-17 on May 26, 2007.
Download here. (Credit: NOAA)

After nearly 11 years of helping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict weather and climate patterns and save lives in search and rescue operations, NOAA announced today it has turned off the NOAA-17Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite (POES). It was one of NOAA’s longest operating spacecraft, which have a typical lifespan of three years. The shutdown will result in no data gap, as NOAA-17 was being used as a back-up satellite and was removed from service after several key systems on board became inoperable.

NOAA began the deactivation process of NOAA-17 on February 18, with the final shut down occurring today. Launched in June 2002, NOAA-17 made 55,000 orbits of the globe, traveling more than 1.5 billion miles while collecting huge amounts of valuable temperature, moisture and image data.

NOAA-17 was part of the international Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking (SARSAT) network of satellites. SARSAT, which began in 1982, has rescued more than 33,000 people worldwide, including more than 7,000 in the United States and its surrounding waters by detecting distress signals from emergency beacons.

NOAA’s JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advances for more accurate weather forecasting, helping build a Weather Ready Nation — saving lives and property, while promoting economic prosperity. JPSS provides continuity for critical observations of our vast atmosphere, oceans, land, and cryosphere — the frozen areas of the above planet. NOAA, working in partnership with NASA, ensures an unbroken series of global data for monitoring and forecasting environmental phenomena and understanding our Earth.

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