NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

POES Timeline


  • TIROS-1 was launched on April 1, 1960 from Cape Canaveral, FL. It was the first polar-orbiting weather satellite.
  • TIROS-2 was launched on November 23, 1960 from Cape Canaveral, FL.


  • TIROS-3 was launched on July 12, 1961from Cape Canaveral, FL.


  • TIROS-4 was launched on February 8, 1962 from Cape Canaveral, FL.
  • TIROS-5 was launched on June 19, 1962 from Cape Canaveral, FL.
  • TIROS-6 was launched on September 18, 1962 from Cape Canaveral, FL.


  • TIROS-7 was launched on June 19, 1963 from Cape Canaveral, FL.
  • TIROS-8 was launched on December 23, 1963 from Cape Canaveral, FL.


  • TIROS-9 was launched on January 22, 1965 from Cape Canaveral, FL.
  • TIROS-10 was launched on July 2, 1965 from Cape Canaveral, FL.


  • ITOS-1 was launched on January 23, 1970 from Vandenburg AFB. It was the first of the improved TIROS (ITOS) satellites.
  • NOAA-1 (ITOS-A) was launched on December 11, 1970.


  • ITOS-B was launched on October 21, 1971, but failed to achieve a stable orbit.


  • NOAA-2 (ITOS-D) was launched on October 15, 1972.


  • ITOS-E was launched on July 16, 1973, but failed to achieve a stable orbit.
  • NOAA-3 (ITOS-F) was launched on November 6, 1973.


  • NOAA-4 (ITOS-G) was launched on November 15, 1974.


  • NOAA-5 (ITOS-H) was launched on July 29, 1976.


  • TIROS-N was launched October 13, 1978 from Vandenburg AFB, at 11:23 Z into a 470-nmi orbit and was the first in the series of a third-generation operational environmental satellite systems. TIROS-N was a research and development spacecraft serving as a protoflight for the operational follow-on series. NOAA-A through N spacecraft.


  • NOAA-6 (NOAA-A) was launched June 27, 1979 from Vandenburg AFB, at 15:51:59 Z into a 450-nmi orbit. The HIRS, a primary mission sensor, failed September 19, 1983. The satellite greatly exceeded its two-year lifetime and was totally deactivated on March 31, 1987 after nearly eight years of operational service.


  • NOAA-B was launched May 29, 1980 from Vandenburg AFB, at 10:53 Z and failed to achieve a usable orbit because of a booster engine anomaly.


  • NOAA-7 (NOAA-C) was launched June 23, 1981 from Vandenburg AFB, at 10:52:59 Z into a 470-nmi orbit. The HIRS, a primary mission sensor, failed February 7, 1985. The spacecraft was deactivated in June 1986 following failure of the power system.


  • NOAA-8 (NOAA-E) was launched March 28, 1983 from Vandenburg AFB, at 15:51:59.95 Z into a 450-nmi orbit. It was the first of the Advanced TIROS-N (ATN) satellites and included a stretched structure to provide growth capability; it also included the first Search and Rescue (SAR) package. The redundant crystal oscillator (RXO) failed after 14 months in orbit. The RXO recovered from its failure, finally locking up on the RXO backup in May 1985. The spacecraft was stabilized and declared operational by NOAA on July 1, 1985. The satellite was finally lost on December 29, 1985, following a thermal runaway which destroyed a battery.


  • NOAA-9 (NOAA-F) was launched December 12, 1984 from Vandenburg AFB, at 10:41:59.8 Z into a 470-nmi afternoon orbit. The MSU, a primary mission sensor, failed May 7, 1987. The Digital Tape Recorder (DTR) 1A/1B failed two months after launch. The Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) Scanner stopped outputting science data in January 1987. In August 1995, a very high power overvoltage condition resulted in the failure of the MIRP, the AVHRR, Battery #1 charge regulator, and Inertia Momentum Unit (IMU) temperature control amplifier. The MIRP failure also resulted in the loss of the global SAR data via Global Area Coverage (GAC) data stream. The satellite's capability to collect, process, and distribute SBUV/2, SSU, and ERBE-Nonscanner (NS) data was now limited to stored TIROS Information Processor (TIP) data. The SARR transmitter failed on December 18, 1987. The satellite was deactivated on February 13, 1998.


  • NOAA-10 (NOAA-G) was launched September 17, 1986 from Vandenburg AFB, at 15:52 Z into a 450-nmi morning orbit, and it is currently in a standby operational mode with all of its data transmitters turned off. The SAR Processor (SARP) 406 MHz receiver has also failed. In December 1994, the AVHRR IR channels were damaged and remain severely degraded from a satellite tumble caused by an overflow of the satellite's ephemeris clock. NOAA-10 was placed in standby on September 17, 1991 (the date NOAA-12 became fully operational). In January 1997, the MSU scanner displayed anomalous readings. The telemetry indicates that the digital encoder failed. The MSU scanner motor was commanded off in February 1997. A MIRP-related missing minor frame anomaly occurred in August 1998. The HRPT data is unusable due to an unstable MIRP and faulty AVHRR. The satellite was deactivated on August 30, 2001.


  • NOAA-11 (NOAA-H) was launched September 24, 1988 from Vandenburg AFB, at 10:02:00.385 Z into a 470-nmi afternoon orbit. The AVHRR failed September 13, 1994. It is currently in a standby operational mode transmitting global and real-time SAR data directly to local users around the world. The increase of maximum Sun angle from 68 degree to 80 degree allows an afternoon nodal crossing closer to noon to enhance data collection. The HIRS/2, MSU, and SSU instruments and the power subsystems operate satisfactorily. In September 1994, the AVHRR scan motor failed, leaving the instrument inoperative. In October 1994 the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Radiometer/2 (SBUV/2) diffuser failed, however, the instrument continues to collect global ozone data. The satellite was placed in standby mode in March 1995 and was reactivated to provide soundings after a NOAA-12 HIRS filter wheel anomaly in May 1997. The MSU science data is no longer usable, so the instrument was powered off in March 1999. NOAA-11 was decommissioned on June 16, 2004.


  • NOAA-12 (NOAA-D) was launched May 14, 1991 from Vandenburg AFB, into a 450-nmi morning orbit at 15:52:035 Z and is currently the semi-operational backup morning satellite. It replaced NOAA-G (10) in orbit, however, it does not have a SAR package on board. The Skew Gyro periodically exhibits a high drift rate, which is corrected with real-time operational command procedures. In May 1997 the HIRS filter wheel mechanism degraded to the poing that soundings were unusable. The remaining instruments and other subsystems continue to operate satisfactorily. NOAA-12 was placed in standby mode on December 14, 1998 when NOAA-15 became operational. Suffering from a severely degraded power system, the satellite was decommissioned on August 10, 2007.


  • NOAA-13 (NOAA-I) was launched on August 9, 1993 from Vandenburg AFB, at 10:02Z into a 470-nmi afternoon orbit. On August 21, 1993, two weeks after launch, the spacecraft suffered a power system anomaly. All attempts to contact or command the spacecraft since the power failure have been unsuccessful.


  • NOAA-14 (NOAA-J) was launched on December 30, 1994 from Vandenburg AFB, into a 470-nmi afternoon orbit and is currently designated as the operational afternoon satellite. In January 1995, it was determined that one of the four Solar Environmental Monitor (SEM) telescopes was inoperative, reducing data collected by 12%. Between April 1995 and December 1996 the SBUV grating drive experienced significant degradation. The grating drive control was reprogrammed to compensate for these problems as well as for the CCR failure. Currently, the AVHRR and the SARP are not operational. Following more than 13 years of service, and after evaluating the satellite health and ability to provide meaningful data to the scientific community, commands to complete decommissioning of the satellite were sent on May 23, 2007.


  • NOAA-15 (NOAA-K) was launched on May 13, 1998 from Vandenburg AFB, at 8:52 PDT from Vandenberg AFB. The spacecraft was injected in to a 450-nmi morning orbit and is currently the designated the AM secondary satellite. The NOAA satellite status web site shows the following subsystems or instruments in a yellow status. Communications, AMSU-A1, AMSU-B, AVHRR, HIRS, and SARR.


  • NOAA-16 (NOAA-L) was launched on September 21, 2000 from Vandenberg AFB. NOAA-16 is currently the PM secondary satellite. The NOAA satellite status web site shows the following subsystems or instruments in a yellow status. ADACS, Communications, Data Handling, AMSU-A1, AVHRR, HIRS, SARR, and SBUV.


  • NOAA-17 (NOAA-M) was launched on June 24, 2002 from Vandenberg AFB. The satellite is designated as the AM Backup and the Communication subsystem is reported as yellow. The AMSU-A1 instrument is reported as Red for total failure.


  • NOAA-18 (NOAA-N) was launched on May 20, 2005 from Vandenberg AFB. NOAA-N is currently the PM primary satellite. The NOAA satellite status web site reports that the HIRS instrument is red.


  • NOAA-19, the fifth and last in the current series of polar-orbiting satellites was launched on February 6, 2009.

NASA logo
Goddard Space Flight Center