Polar satellite design contract awarded


A contract by NASA to design, produce and integrate up to three Joint Polar Satellite Systems (JPSS) spacecraft has been awarded to Orbital ATK.

The systems, to be operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will provide critical weather forecasting data and advance environmental and oceanographic science. The contract includes a firm order for the first satellite, referred to as JPSS-2, valued at US$253m and options for two additional satellites, JPSS-3 and -4, valued at US$217m.

The JPSS-2 satellite will provide operational continuity of space-based weather observations, extending the 40-year NOAA/NASA partnership into the 2020 and 2030 decades. Under the new contract, Orbital will design and fabricate the JPSS spacecraft, integrate government-furnished instruments, conduct satellite-level testing, and support in-orbit check-out and mission operations. The JPSS-2 satellite will be delivered in 2020, while JPSS-3 and JPSS-4 will be delivered in 2024 and 2028, respectively, if NASA exercises those options. Each JPSS satellite will have a design life of at least seven years once it is launched into orbit.

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