Goddard Seeks a Host Satellite for Its Earth Venture Proposal

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WASHINGTON —  NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is looking for a host satellite to carry a roughly 100-kilogram science instrument to a geostationary orbit in 2022, according to a notice published online Nov. 10.

The solicitation is contingent on Goddard’s winning the $150 million NASA intends to award in late 2015 or early 2016 under the U.S. space agency’s Earth Venture line of competitively selected missions. NASA will be seeking Earth Venture proposals around June with an award to follow about six months later, according Goddard’s so-called Partnership Opportunity Document.

Goddard wants to partner with either a satellite manufacturer or a satellite owner-operator to put its Earth Venture payload aboard a satellite launching around June 2022 to a geostationary orbit between 50 and 100 degrees west, locations that would provide coverage of parts of North and South America.

Goddard’s notice does not say what the hosted payload would do, and Goddard spokeswoman Rani Gran declined to comment on the center’s Earth Ventures proposal.

However, the notice says the payload would weigh 92-108 kilograms, occupy roughly 1 cubic meter, draw 81-100 watts of power and require a data downlink rate of no more than nine megabits per second.

Potential partners may be either government or industry but must have been involved with a launch in the last three years and plan to be involved with a launch in the next five years, according to Goddard’s notice, which sets a Dec. 5 deadline for potential partners to respond.