NASA’s Launch Services Program has selected United Launch Alliance’s 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.
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.
“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 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 the United States’ next generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system. JPSS is a collaborative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.
The spacecraft design is derived from Orbital ATK’s proven LEOStar-3 bus used for NASA’s Landsat 8 and ICESat-2 Earth science satellites as well as for commercial imaging and defense missions.
Satellites in the JPSS constellation gather global measurements of atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic conditions. JPSS delivers key observations for the Nation’s essential products and services, including forecasting severe weather like hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards days in advance and assessing environmental hazards such as droughts, forest fires, and poor air quality. Data and imagery obtained from satellites in the JPSS constellation is designed to increase timeliness and accuracy of public forecasts and reduce the potential loss of human life and property.
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.
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