Author Topic: NASA Awards Orbital ATK NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-2 Spacecraft  (Read 14321 times)

Offline Chris Bergin


March 23, 2015
NASA Awards Contract for NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-2 Spacecraft

NASA has awarded a delivery order under the Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition III (Rapid III) contract to Orbital ATK (formerly Orbital Sciences Corporation) of Dulles, Virginia, for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-2 spacecraft.

The JPSS-2 spacecraft will provide operational continuity of satellite-based observations to enable the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide critical weather forecasts, while advancing climate, environmental and oceanographic science.  This is a firm fixed-price, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity delivery order for the purchase of the JPSS-2 spacecraft with options to purchase the JPSS-3 and JPSS-4 spacecraft.

The JPSS missions continue to leverage the successful 40-year NOAA/NASA partnership.  NASA is the acquisition agent for the flight systems, launch services and components of the ground system.

The value of the JPSS-2 portion is $253 million with a period of performance from March 30 through July 31, 2020. The value of Option One for the JPSS-3 spacecraft is $130 million and will extend the period of performance through July 31, 2024. The value of Option Two for the JPSS-4 spacecraft is $87 million and will extend the period of performance through July 31, 2028. If all options are exercised, the total value of this delivery order will be $470 million.

These options, as part of full funding of the Polar Follow-on activities outlined in NOAA’s fiscal year 2016 President’s Budget Request, would allow the JPSS program to extend operations of the overall JPSS polar-orbiting satellite system as far as fiscal year 2038.

Orbital will be responsible for designing and fabricating the JPSS-2 spacecraft, integration of government-furnished instruments, satellite-level testing, on-orbit satellite check-out and mission operations support. The contractor also will provide five Flight Segment Emulators. The work will be performed at the contractor’s facility and at the launch site.

This contract provides a rapid and flexible means to procure spacecraft in support of the scientific and technology development goals of NASA and other federal government agencies.

NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as weather forecasting and natural resource management. NASA uses the vantage point of space to increase our understanding of our home planet, improve lives, and safeguard our future.

For information about the JPSS program, visit:

http://jpss.noaa.gov

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

-end-

Offline arachnitect

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Big win for OrbATK considering predecessors Suomi NPP and JPSS-1 were/are built by Ball Aerospace.

Offline MattMason

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While more than a few of us still have that flight in our minds, we've got to give a congratulations to Orbital ATK. They built the Dawn spacecraft that's now orbiting the former-asteroid made of diamond or silica or something, and have a few IridiumNEXT sats ready for several Falcon 9s to hurl into orbit.

The systems/satellite integration guys such as SNC and Orbital never seem to get the best press but they're often the ones that generate the payloads that make the news long after the flashy rockets have done their job.
"Why is the logo on the side of a rocket so important?"
"So you can find the pieces." -Jim, the Steely Eyed

Offline jacqmans

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Orbital ATK Selected to Build Next U.S. Civilian Weather Satellites

JPSS Spacecraft for NOAA/NASA to Provide Critical Weather
Up to Three Satellites to Be Delivered Under $470 Million Contract


(Dulles, Virginia 24 March 2015) – Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, 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. 

http://www.orbitalatk.com/News-Room/release.asp?prid=20

Offline Robotbeat

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Very cool, congratulations to Orbital! What, roughly, is the mass of these spacecraft expected to be?

I hate to be the one to ask, but what will this launch on?

I suppose that may not be knowable for the later birds, but the first one is in 2020, just 5 years. Likely still a little too far out to definitively select a launch vehicle.
« Last Edit: 03/24/2015 11:21 PM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline arachnitect

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Very cool, congratulations to Orbital! What, roughly, is the mass of these spacecraft expected to be?

I hate to be the one to ask, but what will this launch on?

I suppose that may not be knowable for the later birds, but the first one is in 2020, just 5 years. Likely still a little too far out to definitively select a launch vehicle.

The Ball Aerospace JPSS' were ~2500kg. OrbATK is probably similar. Orbit is 830km SSO.

LV will probably be F9.

Delta II will be gone.
A proposed Athena variant could fly it (2cS-6 with DM OAM)
Antares 231 (maybe even 221) has the performance, but I doubt they can win. Flying polar out of WFF is iffy.
Atlas V could do it easily, but $$$.

Offline Robotbeat

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Orbital is responsible for securing a launch, right?
« Last Edit: 03/25/2015 12:06 AM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline russianhalo117

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Very cool, congratulations to Orbital! What, roughly, is the mass of these spacecraft expected to be?

I hate to be the one to ask, but what will this launch on?

I suppose that may not be knowable for the later birds, but the first one is in 2020, just 5 years. Likely still a little too far out to definitively select a launch vehicle.
JPSS-1 of Ball Aerospace's doing is on a ULA DII like its predecessor. LEOStar-3 depending on its build config may push the need for a larger fairing thus in that case the DII would be out. However if an IceSat-II build config was followed it would be capable of a flying on any US DII 7920 class launcher which brings Minotaur and Antares family's into play for the SC manufacturer which Orbital ATK. Currently Flown LEOStar-3 masses range from 817 to 4,288kgs. LEOStar-3 mass would likely be in the upper range. I remember reading somewhere that Leo-Star mass can go as high as about 6,800kgs given current launcher capabilities. If they add more and next generation sensors we may see an FH class launcher brought into play

Offline russianhalo117

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Orbital is responsible for securing a launch, right?
AFAIK, it's the NASA LSP. There are also some cases where that is not the case.
« Last Edit: 03/25/2015 09:07 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline russianhalo117

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This is the last updated user Guide for NASA Missions on the Athena Missile Launch System.
Some please find the latest one and reply with the file or link.

Offline Jim

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Orbital is responsible for securing a launch, right?

No, NASA LSP is

Offline arachnitect

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This is the last updated user Guide for NASA Missions on the Athena Missile Launch System.
Some please find the latest one and reply with the file or link.

I doubt the necessary Athena upgrades are in any NASA user guide.

Probably the most comprehensive information on IIcS available:

http://www.sprsa.org/sites/default/files/conference-presentation/Athena%20Launch%20Vehicle%20Family-Kehrl_PR.pdf

Online edkyle99

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Very cool, congratulations to Orbital! What, roughly, is the mass of these spacecraft expected to be?

I hate to be the one to ask, but what will this launch on?

I suppose that may not be knowable for the later birds, but the first one is in 2020, just 5 years. Likely still a little too far out to definitively select a launch vehicle.

The Ball Aerospace JPSS' were ~2500kg. OrbATK is probably similar. Orbit is 830km SSO.

LV will probably be F9.

Delta II will be gone.
A proposed Athena variant could fly it (2cS-6 with DM OAM)
Antares 231 (maybe even 221) has the performance, but I doubt they can win. Flying polar out of WFF is iffy.
Atlas V could do it easily, but $$$.
This is where a "Falcon 2" would come in handy.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline arachnitect

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Very cool, congratulations to Orbital! What, roughly, is the mass of these spacecraft expected to be?

I hate to be the one to ask, but what will this launch on?

I suppose that may not be knowable for the later birds, but the first one is in 2020, just 5 years. Likely still a little too far out to definitively select a launch vehicle.

The Ball Aerospace JPSS' were ~2500kg. OrbATK is probably similar. Orbit is 830km SSO.

LV will probably be F9.

Delta II will be gone.
A proposed Athena variant could fly it (2cS-6 with DM OAM)
Antares 231 (maybe even 221) has the performance, but I doubt they can win. Flying polar out of WFF is iffy.
Atlas V could do it easily, but $$$.
This is where a "Falcon 2" would come in handy.

 - Ed Kyle

Not sure I understand exactly, "Falcon 2?"

Online edkyle99

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This is where a "Falcon 2" would come in handy.

 - Ed Kyle

Not sure I understand exactly, "Falcon 2?"
A hypothetical smaller, hopefully cheaper, rocket that could do today's version of what Atlas E and Titan 23G once did.  One idea would be a two x Merlin 1D first stage and a 2 x Kestrel second stage - a rocket that would weigh about the same as an old Atlas E at liftoff.  I figure up to 2.5 tonnes to sun synchronous orbit could be possible.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 03/27/2015 04:42 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline arachnitect

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This is where a "Falcon 2" would come in handy.

 - Ed Kyle

Not sure I understand exactly, "Falcon 2?"
A hypothetical smaller, hopefully cheaper, rocket that could do today's version of what Atlas E and Titan 23G once did.  One idea would be a two x Merlin 1D first stage and a 2 x Kestrel second stage - a rocket that would weigh about the same as an old Atlas E at liftoff.  I figure up to 2.5 tonnes to sun synchronous orbit could be possible.

 - Ed Kyle

That seems really ambitious for a 2x Merlin 1D rocket.

Meanwhile looking at Antares again, west coast launch site would be nice, but what they really need is a restartable upper stage. I wonder if they could fly their transfer stage on an ISS mission to get flight experience

Online gongora

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Very cool, congratulations to Orbital! What, roughly, is the mass of these spacecraft expected to be?

I hate to be the one to ask, but what will this launch on?

I suppose that may not be knowable for the later birds, but the first one is in 2020, just 5 years. Likely still a little too far out to definitively select a launch vehicle.

The Ball Aerospace JPSS' were ~2500kg. OrbATK is probably similar. Orbit is 830km SSO.

LV will probably be F9.

Delta II will be gone.
A proposed Athena variant could fly it (2cS-6 with DM OAM)
Antares 231 (maybe even 221) has the performance, but I doubt they can win. Flying polar out of WFF is iffy.
Atlas V could do it easily, but $$$.
This is where a "Falcon 2" would come in handy.

 - Ed Kyle

SpaceX has a rocket for this size class, F9R, it's just not quite ready yet.

Offline Robotbeat

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Very cool, congratulations to Orbital! What, roughly, is the mass of these spacecraft expected to be?

I hate to be the one to ask, but what will this launch on?

I suppose that may not be knowable for the later birds, but the first one is in 2020, just 5 years. Likely still a little too far out to definitively select a launch vehicle.

The Ball Aerospace JPSS' were ~2500kg. OrbATK is probably similar. Orbit is 830km SSO.

LV will probably be F9.

Delta II will be gone.
A proposed Athena variant could fly it (2cS-6 with DM OAM)
Antares 231 (maybe even 221) has the performance, but I doubt they can win. Flying polar out of WFF is iffy.
Atlas V could do it easily, but $$$.
This is where a "Falcon 2" would come in handy.

 - Ed Kyle

SpaceX has a rocket for this size class, F9R, it's just not quite ready yet.
It will by 2020, when this thing launches.


...But dang it, I knew this would happen. We're talking about SpaceX on a thread that really isn't about SpaceX.

I just wanted to know if the launch vehicle has been decided yet and who was responsible for providing launch. Sounds like those questions have been answered, so let's get back on track.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Tomness

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The Ball Aerospace JPSS' were ~2500kg. OrbATK is probably similar. Orbit is 830km SSO.

LV will probably be F9.

Delta II will be gone.
A proposed Athena variant could fly it (2cS-6 with DM OAM)
Antares 231 (maybe even 221) has the performance, but I doubt they can win. Flying polar out of WFF is iffy.
Atlas V could do it easily, but $$$.
This is where a "Falcon 2" would come in handy.

 - Ed Kyle

I wonder if Orbital ATK could pay SpaceX for launch infrastructure & logistics & fly Antares from  Vandenberg AFB, SLC - 4 ?

Offline Jim

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No, that is not  feasible.  There is little benefit to Orbital
« Last Edit: 03/28/2015 05:55 PM by Jim »

Offline russianhalo117

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The Ball Aerospace JPSS' were ~2500kg. OrbATK is probably similar. Orbit is 830km SSO.

LV will probably be F9.

Delta II will be gone.
A proposed Athena variant could fly it (2cS-6 with DM OAM)
Antares 231 (maybe even 221) has the performance, but I doubt they can win. Flying polar out of WFF is iffy.
Atlas V could do it easily, but $$$.
This is where a "Falcon 2" would come in handy.

 - Ed Kyle

I wonder if Orbital ATK could pay SpaceX for launch infrastructure & logistics & fly Antares from  Vandenberg AFB, SLC - 4 ?
SLC-4 pads will not fly Antares.
SLC 1W and SLC 1E: are presently inactive Thor Agena pads
SLC 2W and SLC 2E: 2E inactive Thor/Delta pad and 2W Active Thor/Delta/Delta II pad will become inactive when Delta II retires
SLC 5: Inactive Scout pads
SLC 10E and SLC 10W: inactive Thor/Delta pads

There are also 25 Inactive ICBM complexes with several pads at each that are available. Some of these have been mothballed for orbital and test launch use incase active complexes are destroyed completely.

Antares is not currently planned from VAFB, KLC, KSC or CCAFS at this time although Antares User Guide states that all US launch bases can be outfitted to support launches.
« Last Edit: 03/28/2015 06:02 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline jimvela

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Online ZachS09

Could the last Delta II for sale launch JPSS-2?  ???
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline russianhalo117

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Could the last Delta II for sale launch JPSS-2?  ???
Theoretically yes, just don't have full specs for the Orbital ATK JPSS-2 build design to know. The current Ball design is a complete yes as its already flown once on the the DII 7920-10C series.

Current launcher targets:
July 2020 - JPSS-2 - Atlas V 401/Falcon 9 v1.1/Minotaur-6 - Vandenberg SLC-2W/3E/4E/8  (or December 31)
« Last Edit: 04/09/2015 07:39 PM by russianhalo117 »

Online ZachS09

Then let's hope that the "for sale" Delta II does get to launch in the next few years.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Online ZachS09

Could the last Delta II for sale launch JPSS-2?  ???
Theoretically yes, just don't have full specs for the Orbital ATK JPSS-2 build design to know. The current Ball design is a complete yes as its already flown once on the the DII 7920-10C series.

Current launcher targets:
July 2020 - JPSS-2 - Atlas V 401/Falcon 9 v1.1/Minotaur-6 - Vandenberg SLC-2W/3E/4E/8  (or December 31)

I'm guessing that the Ball design first flew in October 2011 when Suomi NPP was launched...
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline russianhalo117

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Could the last Delta II for sale launch JPSS-2?  ???
Theoretically yes, just don't have full specs for the Orbital ATK JPSS-2 build design to know. The current Ball design is a complete yes as its already flown once on the the DII 7920-10C series.

Current launcher targets:
July 2020 - JPSS-2 - Atlas V 401/Falcon 9 v1.1/Minotaur-6 - Vandenberg SLC-2W/3E/4E/8  (or December 31)

I'm guessing that the Ball design first flew in October 2011 when Suomi NPP was launched...
yes

Offline arachnitect

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Award has been formally protested...

http://spacenews.com/ball-protests-jpss-award-to-orbital-atk/



Protest denied. OrbATK keeps the contract.

http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-keeps-jpss-work-after-gao-strikes-down-protest/

I think the protest should have been upheld. OrbATK's bid is super sketchy.

Online gongora

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Protest denied. OrbATK keeps the contract.

http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-keeps-jpss-work-after-gao-strikes-down-protest/

I think the protest should have been upheld. OrbATK's bid is super sketchy.

Why do you think it's sketchy?  Because OrbATK isn't charging the full price of designing a satellite for every additional copy of it they build?  They seem to be betting they can get their production cost down pretty low by the time they build the third one, and they're probably right.  Remember these prices don't include the weather instruments.

Offline arachnitect

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Protest denied. OrbATK keeps the contract.

http://spacenews.com/orbital-atk-keeps-jpss-work-after-gao-strikes-down-protest/

I think the protest should have been upheld. OrbATK's bid is super sketchy.

Why do you think it's sketchy?  Because OrbATK isn't charging the full price of designing a satellite for every additional copy of it they build?  They seem to be betting they can get their production cost down pretty low by the time they build the third one, and they're probably right.  Remember these prices don't include the weather instruments.

They're betting the options won't get exercised.

Gov't is trading more $ and risk now for the chance at saving money in 2028. That's insane.

edit: I should clarify. I don't object to the government spending more now to save later; they should do it more often. In this case, however, the future optional orders are suspiciously cheap. Can OrbATK really build JPSS-4 for 1/3 the cost of JPSS-2? I don't think they can, and I don't think they're planning on doing it. They're betting that the program will be cancelled* or the requirements will change and OrbATK will be able to favorably renegotiate the contract. Even if the government exercises their options and orders all 3 satellites, I think it will go wrong: bad things happen when the contractor is losing money. Of course the people who signed this contract will all be gone by the time JPSS-4 starts, so they'll escape the fallout.

Ball had a lower bid to build JPSS-2 and has experience building Suomi and JPSS-1. There are serious concerns about coverage gaps if either JPSS-1 or JPSS-2 are lost. After everything this program has been through, they're going to switch contractors now?

I predict this will go poorly and the government will end up spending more money, not less.

*JPSS-3 and -4 will be a different program/budget line... their future is much less certain than JPSS-2. Why they were even part of this contract is beyond me.
« Last Edit: 07/17/2015 06:21 AM by arachnitect »

Offline AnalogMan

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Now that the protest by Ball Aerospace has been dismissed, NASA have today published the original Decision Document that awarded the contract to Orbital ATK.

See: https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/166385-FOLS-001-001.pdf

(Copy also attached)

Offline Star One

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NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Joint Polar Satellite System-2 Mission

NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC (ULS) of Centennial, Colorado, to provide launch services for the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) mission for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Launch is currently targeted for 2021 on an Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The total cost for NASA to launch JPSS-2 is approximately $170.6 million, which includes the launch service and other mission-related costs.

JPSS is a collaborative program between NOAA and NASA. This interagency effort is the latest generation of NOAA polar-orbiting environmental weather satellites. JPSS-2 is one of five satellites that will comprise the JPSS constellation. These spacecraft gather global measurements of atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic conditions, including sea and land surface temperatures, vegetation, clouds, rainfall, snow and ice cover, fire locations and smoke plumes, atmospheric temperature, water vapor and ozone. JPSS delivers key environmental observations that provide support for the nation's essential products and services. This includes forecasting severe weather such as hurricanes and tornadoes, predicting blizzards days in advance, and assessing other environmental hazards such as droughts, forest fires, poor air quality and harmful ocean conditions, particularly along the coasts. Further, JPSS will provide continuity of critical, global Earth observations — including our atmosphere, oceans and land.

NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida will manage the ULS launch service. The JPSS Flight Project office is located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and manages spacecraft development for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in partnership with NOAA in Washington, D.C.

For more information about NASA programs and missions, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

« Last Edit: 03/04/2017 08:02 AM by jacqmans »

Offline jacqmans

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NASA Selects United Launch Alliance Reliable Atlas V Rocket to Launch JPSS-2 Mission

Centennial, Colo. (March 3, 2017) –  NASA’s Launch Services Program announced today that it selected United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) proven Atlas V vehicle to launch the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-2) mission, the third in the nation's new generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system.  This award resulted from a competitive Launch Service Task Order evaluation under the NASA Launch Services II contract.

“We are honored that NASA has entrusted ULA with launching this important environmental sensing satellite,” said Laura Maginnis, ULA’s vice president of Government Satellite Launch. “The tremendous heritage of 70 consecutive successful Atlas V launches, coupled with ULA’s high schedule certainty and proven reliability provides the best value for our customer. We look forward to working together again with our mission partners at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Goddard Space Flight Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the integration and launch of this critical mission for the nation.”

The JPSS-2 mission is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2021 from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This mission will launch aboard an Atlas V 401 vehicle.

ULA also will launch NASA’s JPSS-1 mission scheduled for September of this year from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a Delta II rocket. JPSS-2 will be the 34th launch with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center team using ULA and ULA heritage vehicles, and the 42nd for NASA under NASA Launch Services Program contracts.

The JPSS Program is a multi-satellite cooperative program between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to design, develop and fly the next series of U.S. civilian polar-orbiting environmental-sensing satellites. The JPSS Program implements NOAA’s requirements for collection of global multi-spectral radiometry and other specialized meteorological, oceanographic, and solar-geophysical data via remote sensing of land, sea and atmospheric properties.

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 115 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.

Offline Star One

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Is this going to be a more substantial spacecraft than the first otherwise the 401 looks a bit overkill performance wise?

Offline Skyrocket

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Is this going to be a more substantial spacecraft than the first otherwise the 401 looks a bit overkill performance wise?
There wasn't much choice: Atlas-5(401) or Falcon-9 are overkill performance wise. Antares has no launchsite for SSO and Minotaur has not enough peformance.

Online edkyle99

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Is this going to be a more substantial spacecraft than the first otherwise the 401 looks a bit overkill performance wise?
There wasn't much choice: Atlas-5(401) or Falcon-9 are overkill performance wise. Antares has no launchsite for SSO and Minotaur has not enough peformance.
Does this win tell us that 401 is now cheaper than Falcon 9?

 - Ed Kyle

Offline ugordan

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Does this win tell us that 401 is now cheaper than Falcon 9?

I'd venture a guess that it's more of a statement on what NASA LSP thinks of SpaceX schedule, reliability and processes.

Offline baldusi

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Does the payload requires vertical integration? Or is it a Cat A payload?

Offline russianhalo117

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Does the payload requires vertical integration? Or is it a Cat A payload?
The Ball Spacecraft bus for NPP and JPSS-1 is VI only. LeoStar-3 bus supports both VI and HI. Payload I think is VI since its same instruments as NPP which was Vertically process and integrated.

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