Pat Shingleton: "An Eye-in-the-Sky Goes Out"
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is responsible for designing, building and implementing orbiting satellites. Most satellites have a life span of five years. On Monday and after 13 years of predicting weather and climate patterns, NOAA shutdown the NOAA-16 Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite, recognized as one of the longest operating spacecraft. The shutdown will not compromise data retrieval as NOAA-18, launched in 2005, harnesses the majority of the data. Officials with NOAA remarked that NOAA-16 assisted forecasters in the early stages of severe weather detection, including tornadoes, snow storms and hurricanes. In addition to weather assistance, it joined other satellites for 37,000 distress rescues, worldwide.