Members of Congress have recently expressed their concern over a possible gap in weather satellite data resulting from the flawed GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites) program. They looked into options to supplement data in the event that GOES-7 fails before the scheduled launch of GOES-I in December 1992. GOES-7 is currently the only geostationary weather satellite in orbit. GOES-I is the first of in the GOES-Next (next generation) series, which will carry improved instrumentation and will be part of the modernization of the National Weather Service
At a joint hearing between the House subcommittee on the Environment and the subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held July 25, members heard testimony on factors contributing to the GOES-NEXT problems, current technical status of the program, and options to help avoid a gap in data. The General Accounting Office also released a report that investigated the cost, schedule, technical status, reasons of cost increases and delays, and options to avoid the data gap. A Senate subcommittee heard testimony on the flawed project July 10.