Orbital ATK has received the green light to begin development work on NASA's land remote sensing satellite designed to gather space-based images and data that can support agriculture, disaster relief and land use mapping research efforts.
The company said Thursday the approval came after it completed a critical design review, which showed that the Landsat 9 satellite meets technical performance requirements.
Orbital ATK and NASA representatives carried out the critical design review from Feb. 26 through March 1 at the company's facility in Gilbert, Arizona.
The Dulles, Virginia-based defense and aerospace contractor will design and build the spacecraft, integrate two government-supplied instruments and support launch and on-orbit operations under a potential five-year, $130 million contract awarded in October 2016.
The U.S. Geological Survey will operate the land surface mapping satellite that is slated for launch in late 2020.
The spacecraft is the fourth Orbital ATK-developed Landsat and is based on the company's LEOStar-3 spacecraft bus platform.