Author Topic: NASA selects Orbital as Contractor for Icesat-2 Spacecraft  (Read 3872 times)

Online Chris Bergin

CONTRACT RELEASE: C11-037

NASA SELECTS CONTRACTOR FOR ICESAT-2 SPACECRAFT

WASHINGTON -- NASA has selected Orbital Science Corporation of Dulles,
Va., to build the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2
(ICESat-2) spacecraft.

Under the terms of the $135 million delivery order (including the
spacecraft and all associated options), the contractor will be
responsible for the design and fabrication of the ICESat-2 spacecraft
bus, integration of the government-furnished instrument,
satellite-level testing, on-orbit satellite check-out, and continuing
on-orbit engineering support. The work will be performed at the
contractor's facility.

ICESat-2 will use precision laser-ranging techniques to measure the
topography of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and the
thickness of sea ice. The mission was recommended by the National
Research Council in its 2007 decadal survey of NASA Earth science
research priorities. ICESat-2 supports NASA's Earth science program
by helping scientists develop a better scientific understanding of
the Earth system and its response to natural or human-induced
changes.

ICESat-2 builds on measurements taken by NASA's ICESat mission. Data
from ICESat, which was in orbit from 2003 to 2010, revealed thinning
of the world's ice sheets.

The ICESat-2 delivery order was awarded under the Rapid III multiple
awards Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract at NASA
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The contract is for core
spacecraft systems, with non-standard services such as operations,
launch services, components, and studies to meet the government's
space science, Earth science and technology needs. The principle
purpose of the Rapid III contract is to provide core spacecraft
systems with any necessary modifications to meet specific mission
needs.

For more information on ICESat-2, visit:



http://icesat.gsfc.nasa.gov/icesat2/


Offline robertross

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Excellent stuff. Congrats Orbital!
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline kevin-rf

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Is there a reason why a coverage gap exists between Icesat (2003-2009) and Icesat-2 (planned launch in 2016)?
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline robertross

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Is there a reason why a coverage gap exists between Icesat (2003-2009) and Icesat-2 (planned launch in 2016)?

Probably funding
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline cd-slam

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Is there a reason why a coverage gap exists between Icesat (2003-2009) and Icesat-2 (planned launch in 2016)?
Doesn't this spacecraft have a similar function as the European CryoSat 2 launched in 2010?

Online Ronsmytheiii

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I posted this on another site as it is an aircraft, but here is an image of the ICEbridge aircraft meant as an interim from icesat-1 to icesat-2
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Online Chris Bergin

If I wasn't balancing an overdraft, I'd probably buy some shares in Orbital. They do seem to do a good amount of business...



ORBITAL AWARDED $135 MILLION CONTRACT BY NASA FOR ICESAT-2 EARTH SCIENCE
SATELLITE PROGRAM

-- Spacecraft to be Based on LEOStar-3 Platform; Company to Build and Test
Satellite at Its Gilbert, AZ Satellite Manufacturing Facility --

-- ICESat-2 Joins Four Other NASA Science Satellites Now in Production at
Orbital --

(Dulles, VA 1 September 2011) -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB),
one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has selected the company to
design, build and test the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2
(ICESat-2) Earth science satellite.  Scheduled for launch in 2016, ICESat-2
is the next-generation successor to the original ICESat satellite, which
operated from 2003 to 2010.  The contract award is valued at $135 million,
including the spacecraft and associated options.

Orbital will base the ICESat-2 satellite on its LEOStar-3 platform, the
same technology that is being used for NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity
Mission (LDCM) spacecraft, which is currently being assembled and tested at
the company’s Gilbert, Arizona satellite manufacturing facility.  ICESat-2
will also be built and tested at the Gilbert location.  Orbital is also in
production on three science satellites for NASA at its Dulles, Virginia
campus, including the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR),
Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO), and Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small
Explorer (GEMS) programs.

“Our selection by Goddard Space Flight Center to design, build and test the
ICESat-2 spacecraft adds to our extensive and growing history of producing
high-quality and reliable satellites for NASA’s Earth and space science
programs,” said Mr. Mike Larkin, Orbital’s Executive Vice President and
General Manager of its Space Systems Group.  “The ICESat-2 program will be
a welcome addition to our NASA activities at the company’s Gilbert, Arizona
facility, which currently includes work on the LDCM satellite and on
national security satellites.”

About NASA’s ICESat-2 Program

ICESat-2 will use precision laser-ranging techniques to measure the
topography of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and the thickness of
sea ice. The mission was recommended by the National Research Council in
its 2007 decadal survey of NASA Earth science research priorities. ICESat-2
supports NASA's Earth science program by helping scientists develop a
better scientific understanding of the Earth system and its response to
natural or human-induced changes.

From 2003 to 2010, the original ICESat mission provided multi-year
elevation data needed to determine ice sheet mass balances as well as cloud
property information, especially for stratospheric clouds common over polar
areas.  It also provided topography and vegetation data around the globe,
in addition to polar-specific coverage over the Greenland and Antarctic ice
sheets.  The next-generation program, ICESat-2 will continue the scientific
data collection with these specific objectives:

·     Quantifying polar ice-sheet contributions to recent and current
sea-level change and linkages to climate conditions.
·     Assessing regional signatures of ice-sheet changes to understand
mechanisms driving those changes and improve predictive ice sheet models.
·     Estimating sea-ice thickness to examine ice/ocean/atmosphere
exchanges of energy, mass and moisture.
·     Measuring vegetation canopy height as a basis for estimating
large-scale biomass and biomass change.
·     Enhancing the utility of other Earth observation systems through
supporting measurements.

About the LEOStar-3 Platform

Orbital’s LEOStar-3 medium-class satellite platform on which the ICESat-2
spacecraft is based is a flight-proven design optimized for low-Earth orbit
missions.  Several previous NASA Earth and space science satellite programs
have used the LEOStar-3, including the Swift and the Fermi astrophysics
observatories that were launched in 2004 and 2008, and the LDCM satellite
now in production.  It has also served as the platform for the GeoEye-1
high-resolution commercial imaging satellite.

The LEOStar-3 design can accommodate a wide range of payloads enabling
Orbital to serve civil government, military and intelligence, and
commercial customers on short development cycles with an affordable
satellite that offers precision pointing and high-data-rate capabilities.


About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space
systems for commercial, military and civil government customers.  The
company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including
low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration
spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense
missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other
missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into
orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target
vehicles.  Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related
technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories.


Offline kevin-rf

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If I wasn't balancing an overdraft, I'd probably buy some shares in Orbital. They do seem to do a good amount of business...

They do, but Wallstreet has not been so kind to them over the years:
« Last Edit: 09/01/2011 01:54 PM by kevin-rf »
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline Star One

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Quote
WASHINGTON — The science instrument for a troubled NASA ice-monitoring satellite will be delivered at least nine months late and continues to face development challenges, according to a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

The April 15 report comes as NASA prepares new cost and schedule estimates for the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat)-2, a high-priority program whose difficulties surfaced in October. The new estimates are expected in May, but NASA recently indicated that it expects the launch to slip to from 2016 to at least 2018.

NASA in December 2012 said the mission, identified as a top priority in a 10-year roadmap released in 2007 by the Earth science community, would cost $559 million and launch in 2016. The mission’s main instrument, the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System, was designed and developed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., with help from contractor Fibertek Inc. of Herndon, Va.

“The instrument’s performance began to degrade in January 2013, one month after its plan was baselined at confirmation,” the GAO wrote in its annual assessment of large-scale NASA projects. Citing ICESat-2 project officials, the GAO said the photon-counting laser’s 20 subsystems were well understood, but that the instrument team had difficulty putting them all together.

As required by law for projects that overrun their budgets by at least 15 percent, NASA notified Congress about problems with ICESat-2 in January.

That preliminary breach report has not been released to the public, but the GAO said “recent estimates indicate that [the laser] has used all of its schedule reserve and is now planned for delivery in March 2016 — nine months later than originally needed for integration onto the spacecraft.”

The fix Fibertek and NASA are working will be part of the ICESat-2 replan the mission team will submit to the agency’s Program Management Council in May, according to slides presented April 9 to the NASA Advisory Council’s Science Committee by Peg Luce, the agency’s deputy director for Earth Science.

According to Luce, the mission will launch no earlier than 2018.

NASA spokesman Stephen Cole, reached by email April 15, declined to comment further on the timing the replan.

Rest on link.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/40233gao-details-issues-with-icesat-2-sensor

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