Alan Buis Headquarters, Washington (Phone: 202/358-0373

)

May 22, 2002

Mark Hess Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. (Phone: 301/286-8982) RELEASE: 02-96 BALL AEROSPACE PICKED TO PROVIDE NPP SPACECRAFT BUS NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has selected Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation (BATC), Boulder, Colo., to build the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) Spacecraft. Under the terms of the delivery order valued at $94 million (including spacecraft and all associated options) BATC will be responsible for the design and fabrication of the NPP spacecraft bus, integration of the Government-furnished instruments, satellite-level testing, and on-orbit satellite check-out. NPP is a joint mission with contributions by NASA and NOAA's NPOESS Integrated Program Office (IPO). NASA is providing the NPP spacecraft, the launch vehicle and one of the three advanced sensors. The IPO will develop two new sensors, the spacecraft operations control center and ground processing systems. The delivery order was awarded under NASA/GSFC's Rapid II Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract. The contract is for Core Spacecraft Systems. The NPP satellite will be launched into a 515-mile (824-km) orbit in 2006. Observing the Earth from space, polar-orbiting satellites collect and disseminate data on Earth's weather and atmosphere, oceans, land and space environment. The polar orbiters are able to monitor the entire Earth to provide data for long-range weather and climate forecasts. With a fiveyear design lifetime, the satellite will continue the series of measurements initiated with instruments aboard NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra and Aqua satellites, and

bridge the timeframe until the flight of the first NPOESS spacecraft late in the decade. The NPOESS merges Department of Defense and Department of Commerce meteorological satellite systems into a single national asset. NPP will provide the first flight opportunity for three NPOESS instruments: the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), and the Visible-Infrared Imager Radiometer (VIIRS). All three instruments are currently under development. The NPP mission will also provide operational agencies -NOAA and the DOD -- early access to data from the next generation of operational sensors, thereby greatly reducing the risks incurred during the NPOESS transition. This will permit testing of the advanced ground operations facilities and validation of sensors and algorithms while the current operational systems are still in place. This new system will provide nearly an order of magnitude more data than the current operational system. To accomplish its mission, NPOESS satellites will replace NOAA's Polar-Orbiting Environmental System (POES) and the DOD's Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) constellation that have served the nation for many years. NPOESS and NASA have undertaken a far-reaching program of sensor development and satellite transition to provide complete coverage of meteorological conditions for civil, military and scientific purposes while cutting operational costs dramatically. The NPOESS program extends to the year 2018, building on new technologies to create a new system supporting long-term data continuity for environmental monitoring and global change assessment. More information about the NPP mission is available at the following Web site: http://jointmission.gsfc.nasa.gov/ -end-