Press Release

NASA exercises Delta II contract option for ESSP 3/Cloudsat

By SpaceRef Editor
August 20, 2001
Filed under ,

NASA today announced that it is exercising a contract option
with the Boeing Co., Huntington Beach, CA, for a Delta II vehicle to
launch the ESSP 3/CloudSat mission. The spacecraft are planned for
launch on April 30, 2004.

This firm-fixed price option is covered under the NASA Med-Lite
contract awarded to Boeing in 1996. NASA’s total launch services
budget for the ESSP 3/CloudSat mission is valued at approximately
$60 million.

ESSP-3 (formerly Picasso-CENA), the third mission of the NASA Earth
System Science Pathfinder (ESSP) program, will carry three
instruments to study clouds and chemicals in the Earth’s atmosphere.
The ESSP-3 satellite flies in formation with the Aqua spacecraft to
provide a comprehensive global dataset which will greatly improve our
ability to predict future climate change.

ESSP-3 is a collaboration between NASA’s Langley Research Center
(LaRC), Hampton, VA; the French space agency CNES, Paris; Hampton
University, Hampton, VA; the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL),
Paris; and Ball Aerospace Corp., Boulder, CO.

CloudSat’s trio of satellites will be the first spacecraft to study
clouds on a global basis, contributing to better predictions of
clouds and their role in climate change. The CloudSat mission is a
partnership between Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO;
NASA; the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA; the Canadian Space
Agency, Saint-Hubert; the U.S. Air Force; the U.S. Department of
Energy; and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, CO.

NASA’s ESSP 3/CloudSat Program is managed by the Earth Science
Enterprise and NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program at NASA
Headquarters, Washington, D.C., and by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

SpaceRef staff editor.