Key GOES-R Modules Delivered for Testing

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Key parts for the first of a new generation of civilian-operated U.S. geostationary weather satellites are set to be powered up by prime contractor Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver, the company said in a May 1 press release.

The propulsion and systems modules for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R satellite, based on Lockheed Martin’s A2100-series satellite platform, have arrived at a Denver clean room and are scheduled to be powered up for the first time during the coming weeks, the company said. 

The GOES-R system module was built at Lockheed Martin’s Newtown, Pennsylvania, facility, which the company plans to shutter in 2015. The module will house the satellite’s three major electrical subsystems, command and data handling, communications, and electrical power. 

The propulsion module is for the spacecraft’s engines and fuel tanks. It recently arrived from Lockheed Martin’s Mississippi Space and Technology Center at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, where it was tested.

The two modules are scheduled to be mated in July, forming the primary spacecraft structure. Next, the spacecraft’s six science instruments will be integrated with the bus with an eye toward delivering the satellite to NASA for launch in early 2016. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will operate the spacecraft on orbit. NOAA pays NASA to manage construction and launch of its spacecraft. 

Lockheed Martin is under contract to build four GOES-R satellites for NOAA. Originally awarded in 2008, that contract is now worth more than $1 billion following NOAA’s decision to exercise options for a pair of satellites in 2013.