NASA Awards $130 Million Landsat 9 Contract to Orbital ATK
[Via Satellite 10-26-2016] NASA has awarded the Landsat 9 remote sensing satellite contract to Orbital ATK in a $129.9 million Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition 3 (Rapid 3) contract. The five-year, firm fixed-price delivery order tasks the company with designing and manufacturing the spacecraft, integrating the mission’s two government-furnished instruments, and conducting satellite-level testing, in-orbit satellite checkout, and mission operations support.
Landsat satellites provide imagery to researchers in fields such as agriculture, forestry, education, regional planning and global change. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) will operate the satellite and process, archive, and freely distribute the mission’s data.
Orbital ATK will produce Landsat 9 based on LEOStar 3, a medium-class Low Earth Orbit (LEO) spacecraft successfully used for Landsat 8 and NASA’s Fermi and Swift gamma-ray astrophysics observatories. Landsat 9’s launch is currently planned for December 2020. Once in orbit, the spacecraft will extend the Landsat program’s record of land images to half a century. Landsat has provided 30-meter resolution, multi-spectral, global measurements of Earth’s land cover since 1972, building a freely available archive of more than 6 million satellite images.