Earth Observation Joint Polar Satellite System Completes Two Key Reviews

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
August 12, 2013
Filed under , , , ,
Earth Observation Joint Polar Satellite System Completes Two Key Reviews
Artist concept of JPSS-1 satellite.
NASA/Ball Aerospace.

The Joint Polar Satellite System successfully completed two key reviews in July 2013 at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The JPSS program is continuing on schedule and on budget toward the March 2017 launch of the JPSS-1 polar-orbiting weather satellite.
NASA is developing and acquiring the JPSS-1 mission for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The JPSS program reached Key Decision Point-1, which is a review of the overall soundness of the JPSS program, including the JPSS-1 and JPSS-2 missions along with operational support and sustainment to the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite launched in October 2011. The JPSS-1 spacecraft and instruments are based largely on the Suomi NPP spacecraft and instruments, which are now being operated by NOAA under a NASA/NOAA partnership to support NOAA’s operational weather forecasting and NASA’s Earth science research.

With Key Decision Point-1, there is agreement that the total cost commitment for the JPSS program is $11.3 billion. That figure includes the $2.5 billion legacy costs from earlier programs, $2.6 billion spent from fiscal year 2010 to date, and a commitment to $6.2 billion to finish JPSS-1, build the JPSS-2 satellite, continue redevelopment of the ground system, operating and sustaining the JPSS system for all three missions.

The JPSS-1 mission separately completed reviews leading to Key Decision Point-C. With this milestone, there is agreement and approval for the launch, satellite vehicle and instruments’ life-cycle cost and launch date of March 31, 2017. At this point the mission formally transitions into the implementation phase.

NOAA’s JPSS program provides the nation’s next generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system. JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advances for more accurate weather forecasting to secure a more “weather-ready nation” — thus saving more lives and property while promoting economic prosperity. JPSS provides continuity of critical Earth and environmental observations of our vast atmosphere, oceans, land and cryosphere. NOAA, working in partnership with NASA on JPSS, ensures an unbroken series of global data for monitoring and forecasting environmental phenomena and understanding our Earth.

For more information about JPSS, please visit:

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