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

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

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 we/TR>r
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 five-
year 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

More information about the NPP mission is available at the
following Web site: