Weather data gap problem resolved


  • Susan Bush


It looks as though the United States will avoid the crisis situation of a gap in weather data resulting from the aging GOES-7 satellite and technical problems with the next generation of weather satellites (GOESNEXT). Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service, recently announced their decision to borrow at least one and possibly several European satellites until the GOES-NEXT program gets off the ground.

The GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites) series is currently 3 years behind schedule and $500 million over budget. Problems with its complex design, program management by both NOAA and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and poor performance by the contractor led Department of Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher to slow down the GOES-NEXT series to ensure that it is built right.