Lockheed Marks Progress on GOES-R Core, Sensor

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Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver on Jan. 7 said it had delivered the core structure for the first in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s series of next-generation geostationary weather satellites to the company’s Mississippi Space and Technology Center for propulsion system integration.

The rigid external structure for the first Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R series spacecraft, which will enclose the satellite’s propulsion system and support its instruments and other payloads, was designed by Lockheed Martin and built by ATK Aerospace’s Space and Components Division in San Diego.

A Lockheed team at Stennis will spend the next 11 months integrating GOES-R’s fuel tanks, lines, thermal controls and other systems within the core structure, the company said. The satellite is scheduled to launch in 2015.

“The core structure is half of a bus,” Lockheed spokesman Gary Napier said in a Jan. 8 email. “It’s the inner structure that houses the propulsion system. Another structure that we call the U structure is the other half. When the two are put together in Denver next year, then we’ll have a full bus.”

GOES-R is based on Lockheed’s A2100 satellite series.

In a separate press release, Lockheed said Jan. 8 a key space weather instrument that its Palo Alto, Calif.-based Advanced Technology Center is building for GOES-R is on track to be delivered to Denver in October where it will be integrated with the satellite.

The instrument, the Solar Ultraviolet Imager, or SUVI, completed a pre-environmental review in November, clearing the way for it to begin a series of environmental tests expected to wrap up by May, Lockheed Martin spokesman Buddy Nelson said Jan. 8.

The instrument will be stored at Lockheed’s Palo Alto facility until it ships out for Denver later this year, Nelson said.