Satellite troubles

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Abstract

Two satellites operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) encountered serious trouble recently

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) that provided weather pictures for the eastern half of the United States and Canada, all of Central and South America, and much of the Atlantic Ocean, failed on July 29; an incandescent lamp for the encoder burned out. In mid June, the NOAA-8 environmental monitoring satellite lost its attitude control system and began tumbling in orbit at the beginning of July. The satellite includes a payload called SARSAT that enables the satellite to relay emergency signals from downed aircraft and ships in distress.

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