NOAA Releases RFP for Commercial Space Weather Data Pilot

SILVER SPRING, Md., May 19, 2022 (NOAA PR) — Today, NOAA released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to conduct a Commercial Weather Data Pilot (CWDP) Study of commercial space weather data sources and related capabilities that may help NOAA meet its space weather mission objectives. For this pilot study, NOAA is seeking measurements from Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers that will enable NOAA to derive ionospheric products that meet the current and anticipated needs of operational space weather models and applications.  

NOAA’s Commercial Data Program (CDP) supports CWDP studies to demonstrate the quality and impact of commercial data on NOAA’s weather forecast models. Successful CWDP studies subsequently may lead to sustained commercial data purchases by CDP to support NOAA’s operational forecasting endeavors. 

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NASA Selects Ball Aerospace, Raytheon for NOAA Atmospheric Composition Instrument Study

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — On behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA has selected two firms for the Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) Atmospheric Composition (ACX) instrument Phase A Study. These firms will provide services to help meet the objectives of NOAA’s GeoXO program.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colorado, and Raytheon Intelligence & Space of El Segundo, California will both receive twenty-month firm-fixed-price contracts for approximately $5 million. The work will be performed at the contractors’ facilities.

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Richard DalBello Appointed to Head NOAA’s Office of Space Commerce

Rich DalBello (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

WASHINGTON (Commerce Department PR) — Today, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced that Richard DalBello, a venerable figure in government and the private-sector satellite industry, has been appointed to be the new director of NOAA’s Office of Space Commerce (OSC), the coordinator of space commerce policy activities within the U.S. Department of Commerce. DalBello officially will begin his duties on May 9.

OSC’s key mission is to foster the conditions for the economic growth and technological advancement of the U.S. commercial space industry, issuing, enforcing and maintaining operating licenses for private remote sensing space systems and positioning the nation as a leader in space. OSC is also responsible for modernizing and managing the U.S. systems for space situational awareness.

DalBello has more than 30 years of public and private sector commercial space experience. In his previous position as Virgin Atlantic’s Vice President of Global Engagement, he managed international business development for the company’s fleet of carrier aircraft and space vehicles.

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NOAA to Study New Technologies for Future Satellite Products, Services

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — NOAA plans to release three Broad Agency Announcements, or BAAs, that may lead to a review of advanced technologies for its future satellite and ground architecture, products and services.  

The BAAs – and the studies that will result – are part of NOAA’s Office of System Architecture and Advanced Planning (OSAAP) Joint Venture Program. Joint Venture examines the feasibility of partnering with other federal agencies, the academic community, or the commercial sector to develop promising innovative research and technology to meet NOAA’s future observational, product and service needs.

Specifically, the BAAs will explore technologies for: 

  • Measuring hyper-spectral microwave remote sensing observations;
  • Measuring 3-D atmospheric wind profiles; and 
  • Developing a digital twin system for Earth observations using Artificial Intelligence

These emerging technologies are to be investigated for their value in enhancing a variety of NOAA’s systems including Numerical Weather Prediction and satellite ground processing. The BAAs are a critical first step in assessing possibilities for the future and not tied to a particular mission or end need.

The BAAs will be posted on the federal contracts opportunities website: SAM.gov. Following the release of the BAAs there will be a Community Day for all interested parties as announced in the BAA. Based on the responses to the BAAs, NOAA will choose the best options to pursue.

NOAA Completes Cloud-Based Satellite Operations Testing with Microsoft

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — NOAA successfully completed a year-long, first-ever Cooperative Research and Development Agreement  (CRADA) with Microsoft’s Azure Orbital, which explored how commercial capabilities could assist NOAA’s satellite operations by using commercial products and cloud operations to control the satellites and acquire data in a cyber-secure environment. The information gleaned from this CRADA will provide input to NOAA’s future strategic activities. 

The CRADA was a “proof-of-concept” effort to determine if commercial cloud services can provide satellite mission management for NOAA’s legacy polar satellites. As a secondary objective, Azure demonstrated the ability to comply with some government security controls in both a rapid and effective manner. 

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NOAA FY 2023 Budget Advances a Climate-Ready Nation, New Blue Economy and Equity

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

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — “The Biden-Harris Administration recently released its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2023, which includes strong support for NOAA‘s mission and goals. This level of funding signals the Administration’s support of NOAA as the authority on climate data and information. The FY 2023 budget will allow NOAA to scale our efforts to deliver accurate climate products and services to all Americans by building on our research, forecasts, and observations,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D.

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Space Commerce in DOC’s Strategic Plan for 2022-2026

WASHINGTON (Commerce Department PR) — The Department of Commerce released its updated Strategic Plan for 2022-2026. Strategic Objective 1.7 of the plan is to “Advance U.S. leadership in the global commercial space industry.

Strategic Objective 1.7 cites the following five strategies:

  1. Coordinate regulatory functions across domestic and international stakeholders to promote competitiveness, and increase legal certainty for U.S. commercial space businesses;
  2. Grow the customer base for U.S. commercial space goods and services;
  3. Improve space safety and sustainability;
  4. Promote commercial space innovation;
  5. Advance development, use, and application of space-based Earth observation capabilities to empower better decision-making by the public and private sector.

These strategies align with the U.S. Space Priorities Framework released in December 2021.

The Commerce Department’s prioritization of space commerce is consistent with the previous Strategic Plan for 2018-2022.

View the strategic plan (16 MB PDF)
Learn more at commerce.gov

Momentus’ Vigoride Vehicle Completes Thermal Vacuum Testing

Vigoride (Credit: Momentus)

SAN JOSE, Calif. –- Momentus Inc. (NASDAQ: MNTS) (“Momentus” or the “Company”), a U.S. commercial space company that plans to offer transportation and other in-space infrastructure services, recently completed Thermal Vacuum Testing (TVAC) on its Vigoride vehicle in preparation for its inaugural mission.

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International Sea Level Satellite Takes Over From Predecessor

Meltwater from Greenland glaciers like the one pictured can contribute significantly to sea level rise. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich monitors the height of Earth’s oceans so that researchers can better understand the amount and rate of sea level rise. (Credits: NASA Earth Observatory using Landsat data from USGS)

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, the newest addition to a long line of ocean-monitoring satellites, becomes the reference satellite for sea level measurements.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — On March 22, the newest U.S.-European sea level satellite, named Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, became the official reference satellite for global sea level measurements. This means that sea surface height data collected by other satellites will be compared to the information produced by Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich to ensure their accuracy.

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NOAA’s GOES-T Reaches Geostationary Orbit, Now Designated GOES-18

Illustration of the GOES-T spacecraft with Earth’s reflection. (Credits: Lockheed Martin)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — On March 14, 2022, GOES-T executed its final engine burn, placing the satellite in geostationary orbit 22,236 miles above Earth. Upon reaching this milestone, GOES-T was renamed GOES-18. GOES satellites are designated with a letter prior to launch and a number once they achieve geostationary orbit.

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NOAA’s GOES-T Weather Satellite Blasts into Orbit

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the GOES-T mission for NOAA and NASA lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 4:38 p.m. EST on March 1. (Credit: ULA)

New satellite will support weather forecasts for the U.S. West Coast, Hawaii and Alaska

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — NOAA’s GOES-T, the third in a series of four advanced geostationary weather satellites, blasted into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket at 4:38 p.m. ET today from Cape Canaveral, Florida. GOES-T’s mission managers confirmed that its solar arrays successfully deployed at 8:28 p.m. EST, and the satellite was operating on its own power.

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United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Advanced Weather Satellite GOES-T

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the GOES-T mission for NOAA and NASA lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 4:38 p.m. EST on March 1. (Credit: ULA)

ULA and heritage vehicles have launched every GOES spacecraft

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla., March 1, 2022 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the GOES-T spacecraft for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA lifted off on March 1 at 4:38 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. To date ULA has launched 149 times with 100 percent mission success.

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Statement from NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad on the IPCC Climate Change 2022 Impacts Report

New U.S. regional sea level scenarios developed by NOAA and partners will help coastal communities plan for and adapt to risks from rising sea levels. This photo shows flooding in Norfolk, Virginia, on May 16, 2014. (Credit: NOAA)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — Today’s [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] IPCC report is crystal clear: We must urgently reduce our emissions while also increasing our efforts to adapt to the impacts we can no longer avoid. Simply put, societies and ecosystems need to prepare now for the increasing effects of extreme heat, drought, sea level rise, and other impacts of climate change. 

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