The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. built satellite, NASA’s NPP, has been successfully launched into a sun-synchronous polar orbit, lifting off from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a Delta II rocket early this morning. This is the first Earth-observing satellite built to measure both global climate and key weather data.
Ball Aerospace built the BCP 2000 satellite bus for Goddard Space Flight Center under fixed-price term as well as one of five sensors on NPP, which include the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite. This is the eighth spacecraft built by Ball Aerospace on the same core architecture. The NPP itself has a five-year mission life and a seven-year design life.
“We are confident NASA’s long-standing Earth-observation records will dramatically improve with the successful launch of NPP,” said David Taylor, president and CEO of Ball Aerospace. “The NPP mission will bridge critical data while Ball Aerospace builds the first next-generation polar-orbiting satellite – JPSS-1.”
JPSS-1 is the Joint Polar-Orbiting Satellite System, which is scheduled to launch in 2017 and will contribute both data and imagery increasing timeliness, accuracy and cost-effectiveness of public warnings and forecasts of climate and weather events.