Important Satellite Whacked by Micrometeroid

The Weather Channel reports one of NOAA’s most important weather satellites returned to normal service last week, nearly a month after a micrometeroid struck the satellite and knocked it slightly off its path in orbit around the Earth.

Tests showed the GOES-13 satellite likely took a hit in the arm of its solar array panel on May 22, which shifted the satellite off its “delicate, geostationary balance” over the eastern United States, NOAA reported in a press release June 6.

The impact forced the satellite to shut down immediately, which alerted NOAA engineers to put the GOES-13 into safe mode while they studied what went wrong. The collision was determined not to have damaged the satellite’s instruments or the satellite itself.

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