The GOES East satellite (GOES 12) went through a station keeping maneuver (used to maintain orbit and attitude) yesterday, and then shortly afterwards communications ceased. GOES 12 is no longer delivering satellite imagery. This satellite is used for most eastern US weather forecasting, as well as tropical storm tracking and marine forecasting.
Here is the bulletin from NOAASIS:
A GOES-12 North-South Station Keeping maneuver was performed on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 1756 UTC. An anomaly is currently ongoing. NOAA is not receiving GOES-12 (EAST) data until further notice. FULL DISK images are being captured on GOES-11 (WEST) until the problem is resolved. Data Affected by the Outage: GOES-12 (East) Imaging and Soundings data Date and Time of the Outage:12/4/2007, 1715 UTC, 12:15 PM, EST.
And here is the current status report. The words “until further notice” are not at all comforting. If they cannot re-establish communications, the spacecraft will of course be lost.
UPDATE: A backup plan has been implemented
Following the GOES-12 anomaly situation that occurred on December 4, 2007, all GOES Ingest and NOAAPORT Interface (GINI) processing for GINIEAST has been switched to GOES-10. GOES-10 is now scanning imager and sounder in GOES-East mode, and is being ingested and processed through the GINI to NOAAPORT.NOAAPORT users should now see 15 minute Regional sectors being produced from GOES-10, and half hourly National and Super National sectors being produced from GOES-10 and GOES-11, beginning with the 16:01 UTC regional (ECONUS).
UPDATE2: They are working to restore GOES12 and bring GOES13 out of storage, see the latest message here
UPDATE 3: GOOD NEWS They have reacquired the signal from GOES12 !!! The satellite is in safe mode, and may be back online tomorrow. See details here.