L3Harris Wins Second Major U.S. Weather Satellite Study

Credit: L3Harris Technologies
  • Confirms company’s leadership in weather satellite technology
  • Study will accelerate production of advance satellite sensors for severe storm tracking
  • Follows NOAA’s recent imager design study award

MELBOURNE, Fla. (L3Harris Technologies PR) — NASA has selected L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) to conduct a second advanced study to significantly improve the accuracy and timeliness of U.S. weather forecasting.  

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COSMIC-2 Achieves Full Operational Capability

Diagram shows how COSMIC-2 satellites detect how GPS satellite signals are distorted, or bent, as they travel through the Earth’s atmosphere. (Credit: NOAA)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — The Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC-2) is a network  of six small satellites, each about the size of a standard kitchen oven, designed to improve weather prediction and model accuracy as well as space weather monitoring capabilities.

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NOAA’s GOES-T Launch Date Shifts to Feb. 16, 2022

GOES-T is lowered into the thermal vacuum chamber. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — NOAA and NASA are now targeting Feb. 16, 2022, for the launch of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite T (GOES-T) mission. The launch was previously planned for Jan. 8, 2022. Changes to launch dates in missions scheduled ahead of GOES-T prompted NASA, NOAA, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) to coordinate the new target date to optimize launch schedules for missions flying from Space Launch Complex-41.

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NASA Selects Ball Aerospace & L3Harris for Geostationary and Extended Observations Sounder Phase A Study Contracts

A view of the Earth from the EWS-G1 satellite taken on September 1, 2020. Originally launched in 2006 as GOES-13, the satellite provided operational weather coverage over the United States’ East Coast for 10 years before being replaced in the GOES-East position by GOES-16. The transfer to the Department of Defense and relocation of EWS-G1 is the culmination of joint efforts between SMC, NOAA and NASA. (Credit: U.S. Space Force’s MARK IV-B Program Office)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation of Boulder, Colorado, and L3Harries Technologies of Fort Wayne, Ind., for Geostationary and Extended Observations (GeoXO) Sounder (GXS) Phase A Study contracts. The GXS Phase A Study requirement will provide services to help meet the objectives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GeoXO program.

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NOAA Issues RFI on Space Weather Instruments

Space weather affects the Earth’s magnetic field. (Credit: NASA)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — On September 13, 2021, NOAA released a Solar Coronagraph Development and Related Capabilities request for information (RFI) seeking industry interest and capabilities to produce space-based coronagraphs which would be deployed on satellites in near-Earth and deep space orbits on the Sun-Earth line, and off-Sun-Earth line.

This RFI supports NOAA’s continuing efforts to partner with the commercial sector in innovative ways in support of its operational space-based space weather mission.

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House Infrastructure Bill Includes $173 Million to Improve Space Weather Forecasting

An artist’s rendering of the Space Weather Follow-on L1 satellite. (Credit: NOAA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The House Science Committee approved an infrastructure bill that provides an additional $173 million to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to accelerate the development and launch of the Space Weather Follow-On Lagrange-1 (SWFO-L1) mission. The spacecraft, scheduled for launch in 2024, will monitor the solar wind and coronal mass ejections from the Earth-sun L-1 Lagrange point.

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NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for GOES-U Mission to SpaceX

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket carrying 24 satellites as part of the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission launches from Launch Complex 39A, Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-U (GOES-U) mission. GOES-U will provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s weather, oceans, and environment, as well as real-time mapping of total lightning activity and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.

The total cost for NASA to launch GOES-U is approximately $152.5 million, which includes the launch service and other mission-related costs.

The GOES-U mission is targeted to launch in April 2024 on a Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GOES-U is the fourth and final spacecraft in the GOES-R Series of geostationary weather satellites operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The GOES-R Series is a joint effort between NASA and NOAA and includes GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T, and GOES-U.

NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for launch vehicle program management of the SpaceX launch service. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the GOES-R Flight Projects office, which oversees the acquisition of the GOES-R series instruments and spacecraft. A collaborative NOAA and NASA team manages the GOES-R Program.

For more information about the GOES satellite network, visit:

www.nasa.gov/goes

Rocket Lab Lands Multi-Launch Deal to Deploy Entire IoT Satellite Constellation for Kinéis

Kineis satellite constellation (Credit: CLS)

The multi-launch contract will see Rocket Lab deploy 25 Internet-of-Things (IoT) satellites across five dedicated missions on the Electron launch vehicle

Long Beach, California. September 08, 2021 (Rocket Lab PR) – Rocket Lab USA, Inc (“Rocket Lab” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: RKLB), a leading launch provider and space systems company, today announced it has been awarded a contract to deploy an entire satellite constellation across five dedicated Electron missions for Kinéis, a global Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity provider. 

Scheduled for launch beginning in the second quarter of 2023, the constellation will enable Kinéis, a company backed by private and public investors including the French government’s space agency CNES (Centre National d’Études Spatiales) and CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites) an international space-based solutions provider, to improve its global IoT connectivity. The multi-launch contract with Kinéis, which is subject to standard termination and launch rescheduling provisions, follows a similar bulk buy of launches earlier this year to deploy nine satellites across five dedicated Electron missions as part of a constellation for BlackSky, a provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services.

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Spire Global Awarded NOAA Contract to Deliver Satellite Weather Data

VIENNA, Va. (Spire Global PR) — Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“the Company” or “Spire”), a leading provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced it has been awarded the next order to provide commercial radio occultation (RO) weather data for the National Oceanographic and Oceanic Administration’s (NOAA) operational Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models. The order represents the largest volume of commercial weather data purchased to date by NOAA under the Commercial Weather Data Buy Program.

This purchase comes as NOAA has stated its intention to purchase increasing volumes of commercial RO data. The data provided by Spire will increase the volume of RO data available for assimilation into the national weather prediction models, improving the accuracy of those models and decreasing uncertainty in weather forecasting.

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The State of the Climate in 2020: International Report Confirms Record-high Greenhouse Gases, Sea Levels

Credit: NOAA

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — Greenhouse gases and global sea levels both reached record highs in 2020—as the planet sweltered in a near-record warm year—according to the 31st annual State of the Climate report.

This international annual review of the world’s climate, led by scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information and published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, is based on contributions from more than 530 scientists in over 60 countries. It provides the most comprehensive update on 2020’s global climate indicators, notable weather events and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments located on land, water, ice and in space.

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Statement from NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad on New IPCC Report

A collage of typical climate and weather-related events: floods, heatwaves, drought, hurricanes, wildfires and loss of glacial ice. (Credit: NOAA)

Reaction to IPCC 6th Assessment Report from Working Group 1

“Today, scientists from across the globe delivered the most up-to-date assessment of the ways in which the climate is changing. It is a sobering IPCC report that finds that human influence is, unequivocally, causing climate change, and it confirms the impacts are widespread and rapidly intensifying.

It is clear that inaction to mitigate climate change is making it worse. The impacts of climate change are being felt in every U.S. state, territory, community and sector. People are in harm’s way, infrastructure is increasingly outdated and in many places not designed for the new environmental realities, and extreme weather events continue to occur one after another. We have a narrow window of time to avoid very costly, deadly, and irreversible future climate impacts. It is the consensus of the world’s scientists that we need strong, and sustained reduction in greenhouse gases. Addressing the climate crisis is a top priority for the Biden Administration and NOAA is and will continue to support that work.

The world’s top climate researchers, including many NOAA scientists, contributed to this report, which used climate models developed by NOAA and run using NOAA’s long-term observations of our ocean and climate system, together with observations from a global community of observers. I am proud of the role of NOAA’s science and scientists, analysis, and expertise in this crucial assessment.

NOAA will use the new insights from this IPCC report to inform the work it does with communities to prepare for, respond to, and adapt to climate change. In fact, NOAA is already working directly with communities to increase their resilience to climate impacts, as we have with the recently released 2021 Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region, which serves as a model for regional climate action. NOAA stands ready to assist communities with similar plans. Local planners, emergency managers, and policy makers have a new and urgent opportunity to apply these latest findings. 

NOAA will continue to provide the best available scientific information, tools, and services on weather and climate as we work together to build a resilient nation ready to face the future.”

GeoOptics Orbiting Observatory to Monitor Changing Earth

Satellites Will Track Earth’s Atmosphere, Water, Surface, and Interior

PASADENA, Calif. (GeoOptics PR) – A leader in Earth remote sensing, GeoOptics Inc., today announceda major upgrade to its CICERO constellation of satellites to measure our evolving planet. With launches beginning next year, CICERO-2 will form a unified Earth observatory allowing governments, industry, and individual stakeholders to monitor and prepare for the many impacts of climate change.

“In today’s environment, in which precision Earth sensing is becoming ever more critical, GeoOptics is deploying a flexible observatory made up of dozens of small satellites. The real time services will satisfy a broad range of needs for government and civil users around the world,” said Alex Saltman, Chief Executive Officer of GeoOptics.

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NASA Expands Earth Observation Satellite Data Access for Federal Science Agencies

This Copernicus Sentinel-3 image features Hurricane Dorian as it pummels the Bahamas on 2 September 2019 at 15:16 GMT (11:16 EDT). (Credit: ESA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has expanded its contract with two space-based imagery companies, Planet and Spire Global, to broaden access to Earth imagery data and enable scientific research across the federal government. Broader access to this satellite data will help answer questions about how Earth is changing and how those changes may impact people and communities.

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NOAA Brings GOES-17 Weather Satellite Out of Safe Mode

GOES-R series satellite (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA reports engineers have brought the GOES-17 weather satellite out of the safe mode that it entered on Thursday after a computer glitch.

“Engineers expect its six instruments to return to normal operations soon. The probable cause of yesterday’s anomaly appears to be a memory bit error in the spacecraft computer. The engineering team says the computer has been responding correctly to commands,” the agency said in a statement.

“Earlier this morning, the Advanced Baseline Imager and Magnetometer were restored and data are flowing. The remaining four instruments are expected to come online later this morning.  The team expects some minor, short-term data quality issues while the instruments are being recalibrated, but GOES-17 is on track for a full recovery with no lasting effects to the satellite,” NOAA added.

NASA, ESA Partner in New Effort to Address Global Climate Change

To measure water depth and salinity, the OMG project dropped probes by plane into fjords along Greenland’s coast. Shown here is one such fjord in which a glacier is undercut by warming water. The brown water is caused by sediment being dredged up from the base of the glacier by meltwater plumes. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) have formed a first-of-its-kind strategic partnership to observe Earth and its changing environment. The global climate is rapidly changing and the demand for accurate, timely, and actionable knowledge is more pressing than ever. Recognizing that climate change is an urgent global challenge, the timing is right for NASA and ESA, as partners in space, to join forces to lead and support a global response to climate change. The partnership is an effort to help address and mitigate climate change through monitoring Earth with combined efforts of both agencies in Earth science observations, research, and applications.

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