GOES stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite. The first GOES was launched in 1975. Currently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates two such satellites that were launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): GOES-10 and GOES-12. There is also a backup satellite, GOES-11, which can be activated in the event that one of the other satellites malfunctions. GOES-10 is also known as GOES-West because it monitors the sky over the Western Hemisphere; and GOES-12 (GOES-East) monitors the Eastern Hemisphere. Each satellite is capable of viewing about one-third of the sky at any one time.