NASA Orders Ozone Mapper from Ball

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Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. was awarded an $82.4 million NASA contract to build the ozone-mapping instrument that will fly on the first in a new series of polar-orbiting civil weather satellites, the company announced Sept. 10.

The Ozone Mapping and Profiling Suite (OMPS) was one of a number of instruments expected to fly on the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) being developed to meet both civil and military weather requirements. The White House dissolved the program in February and directed the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA to build dedicated civil weather satellites and the Air Force to build dedicated military weather satellites.

Boulder, Colo.-based Ball built the satellite platform and the first OMPS instrument for an NPOESS precursor satellite that is scheduled to launch next year. Under a cost-plus contract, Ball will build a copy of that instrument for the first Joint Polar Satellite System spacecraft intended to launch in 2014, the press release said. Ball also will build the satellite platform for at least the first Joint Polar Satellite System spacecraft.