In the wake of last July's failure of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES 5) weather satellite over the eastern part of the United States, managers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are trying to keep the weather data flowing to satellite users around the country. The geosynchronous satellite, one of two GOES spacecraft stationed over American longitudes, lost its imaging capability on July 29 (Eos, August 21, 1984, p. 483).

Following the failure, the companion GOES-West satellite was shifted from its 135°W station to a more central position over the United States (98°W) so as to cover the eastern part of the country as much as possible. Now, says William Callicott, deputy director of NOAA's Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution, the lone remaining U.S. geosynchronous weather satellite will be shifted around with the seasons. At the end of this hurricane season, sometime after November 15, GOES-West (or GOES 6, as it is officially called) will be moved from 98°W to 108°W, where it can better keep watch on winter storms in the northeastern Pacific. Then, in mid-April, after the tornado season, it will be moved back to the central location of 98°W.