DULLES, Va. --- Orbital ATK, Inc. today announced that it has been awarded a contract by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to design, produce and integrate up to three Joint Polar Satellite Systems (JPSS) spacecraft, to be operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide critical weather forecasting data and to advance environmental and oceanographic science.
The contract includes a firm order for the first satellite, referred to as JPSS-2, valued at $253 million and options for two additional satellites, JPSS-3 and -4, valued at $217 million.
The JPSS-2 satellite will provide operational continuity of space-based weather observations, extending the successful 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.
“Orbital ATK is honored to be selected by NASA to produce the United States’ next polar-orbiting weather satellites,” said Mr. David W. Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer. The critical data provided by these satellites will allow NOAA to continue its 50-plus year mission to protect lives and property from severe weather events and to enhance economic prosperity across a wide range of industries,” he added.
The JPSS satellites will be built on the company’s LEOStar-3 platform, a medium-class low-altitude-orbit spacecraft that is used for NASA’s Fermi and Swift gamma-ray astrophysics satellites and its Landsat-8 and ICESat-2 Earth science satellites as well as for commercial imaging and defense missions. The JPSS satellites will be designed, manufactured and tested by Orbital ATK’s Space Systems Group at its facilities in Gilbert, Arizona.
Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies. The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs more than 12,000 people in 20 states across the U.S. and in several international locations.