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GOES-L before launch
Mission typeWeather satellite
OperatorNOAA / NASA
COSPAR ID2000-022A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.26352
Mission duration5 years (planned)
10+ years (achieved)
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerSpace Systems/Loral
Launch mass2,217 kilograms (4,888 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date3 May 2000, 07:07 (2000-05-03UTC07:07Z) UTC
RocketAtlas IIA
Launch siteCape Canaveral SLC-36A
End of mission
Deactivated6 December 2011 (2011-12-07)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitude104° West (2000-2006)
135° West (2006-2011)
SlotGOES-WEST (2006-2011)
Semi-major axis42,512 kilometres (26,416 mi)
Perigee altitude36,127.7 kilometres (22,448.7 mi)
Apogee altitude36,155.9 kilometres (22,466.2 mi)
Period1,453.9 minutes

GOES-11, known as GOES-L before becoming operational, is an American weather satellite, which is part of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system. It was launched in 2000, and operated at the GOES-WEST position, providing coverage of the west coast of the United States, until December 6, 2011.[1][2]


Launch of GOES-11

GOES-L was launched aboard an International Launch Services Atlas IIA rocket,[3] flying from Space Launch Complex 36A at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch occurred at 07:07 UTC on 3 May.[4] The launch was originally scheduled for 15 March 1999, however it was delayed to allow the Eutelsat W3 satellite to be launched first.[4][5] Following this, it was rescheduled for 15 May. On 30 April, the Centaur upper stage of a Titan IV(401)B failed during the launch of USA-143. Since a version of the Centaur was also used on the Atlas II, the launch of GOES-L was delayed a week to ensure that the same problem would not affect its launch. Less than five days after the Titan failure, a Delta III failed to launch Orion 3. The failure occurred during the second stage restart, and as the Delta III and Atlas II both used RL10 engines on their second stages, this resulted in a further delay.[5]

When the Centaur was cleared for flight in August 1999, GOES-L was rescheduled to launch in November. This then slipped to December in order to allow a UFO to launch ahead of it, before slipping again when a DSCS launch was added to the manifest. In January 2000, a launch date of 3 May was announced. In late April a range conflict with Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-96 threatened to delay the launch, however the Shuttle was damaged by hail, necessitating a rollback to the Vehicle Assembly Building, so a delay to GOES-L was not necessary. The launch on 3 May occurred successfully, forty minutes into the launch window.[5] At launch, the satellite had a mass of 2,217 kilograms (4,888 lb), and an expected operational lifespan of five years, although it carried fuel for longer.[6] It was built by Space Systems/Loral, based on the LS-1300 satellite bus, and was the fourth of five GOES-I series satellites to be launched.


Following launch, GOES-11 was positioned in geostationary orbit at a longitude of 104° West for testing and on-orbit storage. In 2006, it was moved to 135° West[7] to replace the GOES-10 satellite, which was about to run out of fuel.[1] By the time it entered service, it had already been in orbit for a year past the end of its design life. Its late entry into service was partly because GOES-10 exceeded its design life by over six years, and partly because GOES-12 was brought into service ahead of GOES-11 in order to allow use of a new instrument that it carried.[8]

On December 6, 2011, GOES-11 was decommissioned and replaced by GOES-15. On December 15, 2011, the booster was fired to move the satellite 185 miles (298 km) above its previous orbit, and it was officially decommissioned.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "GOES-NEWS". NASA. 2009-05-09. Archived from the original on 2004-06-05. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
  2. ^ a b "NOAA activates GOES-15 satellite; deactivates GOES-11 after nearly 12 years in orbit". NOAA. Archived from the original on 2011-12-08. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Wade, Mark. "FS 1300". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2009-07-05. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
  4. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
  5. ^ a b c "GOES-11 Status". NOAA. Archived from the original on 2004-10-30. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
  6. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "GOES 8, 9, 10, 11, 12". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
  7. ^ "GOES-11 Spacecraft Status Summary". NOAA. Archived from the original on 2006-09-29. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
  8. ^ "GOES-M Status". NOAA. Archived from the original on 2004-10-30. Retrieved 2009-07-09.