Switching satellites


  • Randy Showstack


At 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on July 27, an engineer at the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service's (NESDIS) Satellite Operations Control Center in Suitland, Md.— a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—executed a computer schedule that sent instructions to the Command and Data Acquisition facility in Wallops, Va. That facility, in turn, relayed the message about 35,800 km above the Earth to the 2100 kg GOES-8 and GOES-10 geostationary operational environmental satellites.