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The Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with the aid of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), plans to procure the next generation of geostationary operational environmental satellites, called the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R series (GOES-R). GOES-R is to replace the current series of satellites, which will likely begin to reach the end of their useful lives in 2014. This series is considered critical to the United States' ability to maintain the continuity of data required for weather forecasting through the year 2028. GAO was asked to summarize its report being released today that (1) determines the status of the GOES-R program, (2) evaluates whether plans for the acquisition address problems experienced on similar programs, and (3) determines whether NOAA's plan will be adequate to support current data requirements.

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