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Artist's impression of a GOES-D series satellite
Mission type Weather satellite
Operator NOAA / NASA (1987-1999)
Peacesat (1999-2012)
COSPAR ID 1987-022A
SATCAT no. 17561
Mission duration 3-7 years (planned)
25 years (achieved)
Spacecraft properties
Bus HS-371
Manufacturer Hughes
Start of mission
Launch date 26 February 1987, 23:05 (1987-02-26UTC23:05Z) UTC
Rocket Delta 3914
Launch site Cape Canaveral LC-17A
Contractor McDonnell Douglas
End of mission
Disposal Decommissioned
Deactivated 12 April 2012 (2012-04-13)
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Longitude 75° West (1987-1989)
98° West (1989-1992)
112° West (1992-1995)
135° West (1995-1999)
95° West (1999)
175° West (1999-2012)
Slot GOES-EAST (1987-1989)
GOES-WEST (1995-1999)
Eccentricity 0.0002306
Perigee 35,879 kilometres (22,294 mi)
Apogee 35,898 kilometres (22,306 mi)
Inclination 15.09°
Period 24 hours

GOES 7, known as GOES-H before becoming operational, is an American satellite. It was originally built as a weather satellite, and formed part of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system. Originally built as a ground spare,[1] GOES-H was launched in 1987 due to delays with the next series of satellites. It was operated by NOAA until 1999, before being leased to Peacesat, who use it as a communications satellite.[2] As of 2009, it was operational over the Pacific Ocean, providing communications for the Pacific Islands. On April 12, 2012, the spacecraft was finally decommissioned and moved to a graveyard orbit.[3]


GOES-H was launched aboard a McDonnell Douglas Delta 3914 rocket, flying from Launch Complex 17A at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.[4] The launch occurred at 23:05 GMT on 26 February 1987.[4] The launch had originally been scheduled for late 1986, but was delayed after GOES-G failed to achieve orbit.[5] It was built by Hughes Space and Communications, based on the HS-371 satellite bus,[6] and was the last of five GOES-D series satellites to be launched.[7]


GOES 7 image

Following launch, GOES 7 was positioned in geostationary orbit at a longitude of 75° West,[8] where it underwent on-orbit testing before being activated in the GOES-EAST slot of the constellation.

Due to the loss of GOES-G, and delays in the development of the GOES-I series spacecraft, no reserve satellites were available in the late 1980s and early 1990s. After the imager on the GOES 6 satellite failed in 1989, GOES 7 was left as the only operational GOES satellite.[9] It was moved to 98° West to cover the whole of the continental United States. In 1992, Meteosat 3 was leased from Eumetsat to take over GOES-EAST operations, allowing GOES 8 to be moved 112° West. When GOES 8 entered service in 1995, it replaced Meteosat 3, and GOES 7 was moved to the GOES-WEST position at 135° West. It remained in service until its retirement from service in 1996,[10] at which time it was moved to 95° West. It was then transferred to Peacesat, and positioned at 175° West[11][12] until its final retirement and disposal in 2012.

It is the only satellite to have been operated as both GOES-EAST and GOES-WEST in the course of normal operations. GOES 10 has been used as both GOES-EAST and GOES-WEST, however its operations as GOES-EAST were as a backup during an outage of GOES 12, and the satellite was not moved to the GOES-EAST orbital position.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "International Satellite Directory - Hughes Aircraft - GOES". Flight International. 1985-01-12. p. 45. 
  2. ^ "GOES-7 Satellite". Peacesat. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  3. ^ "NOAA retires GOES-7 after 25 years as a weather and communications satellite". NOAA News. NOAA. 2012-04-12. Retrieved 2014-06-02. 
  4. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  5. ^ "Atlas grounding follows Delta failure". Flight International. 1986-05-17. p. 44. 
  6. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "GOES 4, 5, 6, G, 7". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  7. ^ Wade, Mark. "GOES". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  8. ^ Sample, Sharron. "GOES-7". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  9. ^ "GOES 'Fiasco' causes US crisis". Flight International. 1991-07-16. p. 21. 
  10. ^ "GOES-7". ESE 40th Anniversary. NASA. 1999-04-22. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  11. ^ "GOES-7 TRANSITIONED TO HAWAII FOR USE BY PEACESAT STATION, NOAA ANNOUNCES". NOAA. 1999-06-15. Archived from the original on 2016-12-11. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  12. ^ "Goes 07". TSE. Retrieved 2009-06-13.