Categories: ScienceSpace

Lockheed Martin to Build Advanced GeoXO Satellites for NOAA Under NASA Contract

In a significant advancement for Earth observation and environmental monitoring, NASA, on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. to build the spacecraft for NOAA’s Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) satellite program. The contract, valued at approximately $2.27 billion, will cover the development of three primary spacecraft with options for four additional spacecraft.

Lockheed Martin, based in Littleton, Colorado, will be responsible for the development and construction of the GeoXO satellites. The contract is a cost-plus-award-fee agreement, indicating that Lockheed Martin will be rewarded based on performance and cost control. The project includes support for 10 years of on-orbit operations and five years of on-orbit storage, ensuring a total operational lifespan of 15 years for each spacecraft. The primary work locations will be Lockheed Martin’s facility in Littleton and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The GeoXO constellation will consist of three operational satellites positioned in geostationary orbit over the east, west, and central regions. Each satellite will be equipped with three instruments designed to enhance Earth observation capabilities. The central satellite will carry an infrared sounder, an atmospheric composition instrument, and potentially a partner payload. Satellites in the east and west positions will host an imager, a lightning mapper, and an ocean color instrument. Additionally, they will support an auxiliary communication payload for NOAA’s Data Collection System relay, dissemination, and commanding.

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The scope of the contract includes the tasks required to design, analyze, develop, fabricate, integrate, test, evaluate, and launch the GeoXO satellites. Lockheed Martin will also provide engineering development units, ground support equipment, simulators, and mission operations support at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland.

“NASA and NOAA oversee the development, launch, testing, and operation of all the satellites in the GeoXO program,” the press release states.

While NOAA funds and manages the program, operations, and data products, NASA and its commercial partners are tasked with the development and construction of the instruments and spacecraft, as well as the launch operations.

The GeoXO program is designed to build upon and succeed the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites – R (GOES-R) Series Program, continuing NOAA’s mission to protect life and property across the Western Hemisphere. The advanced capabilities of the GeoXO satellite system will significantly enhance Earth observations from geostationary orbit. These observations will provide critical information to address environmental challenges related to weather, ocean, and climate operations in the United States.

“The mission will supply vital information to address major environmental challenges of the future in support of weather, ocean, and climate operations in the United States,” the release continues. By the early 2030s, when the GOES-R Series nears the end of its operational life, GeoXO’s advanced capabilities will be essential for ongoing environmental monitoring and data collection.

For more information on the GeoXO program, visit NOAA’s GeoXO program page.

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This post was published on June 18, 2024 8:40 pm

John Greenewald

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