NOAA 2007-R309
Contact: John Leslie
NOAA News Releases 2007
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NOAA and NASA announced today a $34 million contract modification award with Lockheed Martin of Sunnyvale, Calif. The contract modification establishes a storage date for N-Prime of March 7, 2008, at which time Lockheed Martin will have completed satellite integration and testing. Instead of going directly to launch, N-Prime will be placed in storage for five months, and then be prepared for a February 2009 launch.

NOAA operates Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites; one in the mid-morning orbit and one in the afternoon orbit. Polar orbiting environmental satellites provide more than 90 percent of the weather information used in the long-range weather forecasts. This contract modification takes advantage of the increased longevity demonstrated in the POES series satellites by delaying the launch of the final POES satellite, NOAA-N Prime, to February 2009. This will help to ensure future continuity of weather data for long-range weather forecasting due to the delay in the launch of NOAA’s next generation polar satellite series, National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), to 2013.

NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center reached an agreement on the change with Lockheed Martin of Sunnyvale, Calif.

“Having continuity of polar satellite data is a top priority,” said Mary E. Kicza, assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. “We must maintain a continuous flow of data about the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans from space and, when ready, N-Prime will play an important role.”

NOAA manages the polar orbiting environmental satellite program and establishes requirements, provides funding and distributes environmental satellite data for the United States. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., procures and manages the acquisition of POES for NOAA.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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