NOAA Releases RFI for Space Weather Commercial Pilot Program

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — On November 10, 2021, NOAA released a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting information on existing or planned commercial space-based space weather data and related capabilities that will be available in the timeframe of 2022 through 2027. 

This solicitation is being issued pursuant to direction in the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow (PROSWIFT) Act (Public Law 116-181). In addition, the NOAA Commercial Space Policy and the NESDIS Commercial Space Activities Assessment Process call for NOAA to explore and, where appropriate, pursue demonstration projects to assess the viability of assimilating commercially-provided satellite data and products to improve weather forecasting and diversify NOAA’s portfolio of data collection capabilities. 

Through this RFI, NOAA seeks information from industry on existing and planned space weather observation data sources and related capabilities that may help NOAA meet NOAA’s space weather mission objectives. The RFI will be open for 28 days with responses due no later than December 8, 2021, 4 PM [EST]. The responses received will be used to inform plans for future space-based space weather Commercial Weather Data Pilot studies and other commercial data acquisition activities.

NOAA’s Commercial Data Program continues to successfully engage with the commercial sector through pilots and acquisition of operational satellite data-as-a-service for commercial radio occultation data to help improve weather forecasts and provide risk reduction to the overall observing system. The latest updates and activities in NOAA’s Commercial Data Program are available on the “Business with NOAA” section of the Office of Space Commerce website.

NOAA’s Next-Gen Weather Satellite, Built By Lockheed Martin, Moves Closer To Launch

GOES-T is seen here in its Lockheed Martin clean room in Colorado, following a solar array deployment test. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., Nov. 10, 2021 (Lockheed Martin PR) – Today, the next-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-T successfully arrived at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, to begin launch preparations. It is the third of four satellites in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s GOES-R weather satellite series built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] in Littleton, Colorado.

GOES-T will help NOAA provide forecasters in the U.S. and western hemisphere with sharper, more defined images of severe storms, hurricanes, wildfires and other weather hazards.

(more…)

NOAA GeoXO Program Formally Initiated

Credit: NOAA

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — NOAA’s next-generation geostationary satellite program, Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO), was formally initiated on November 9, 2021. GeoXO will now enter the program definition phase of development.

During the program definition phase, the GeoXO team will refine mission requirements, detail acquisition strategies, schedules, cost estimates, resource planning, and risk management, and confirm technology readiness.

GeoXO, as proposed, is a ground-breaking mission that will advance whole Earth System observations from geostationary orbit. GeoXO will supply vital information to address major environmental challenges of the future in support of U.S. weather, ocean, and climate operations. As NOAA’s next generation of geostationary satellites, the GeoXO mission will continue and expand observations provided by the GOES-R Series.

NOAA is working to ensure these critical observations are in place by the early 2030s as the GOES-R Series nears the end of its operational lifetime.

Vice President Harris Visits NASA to See Vital Climate Science Work

Vice President Kamala Harris shares her enthusiasm, alongside Goddard Center Director Dennis Andrucyk and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, for the results of current satellite missions using Goddard’s Hyperwall on Nov. 5, 2021, at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Hyperwall visualizes Earth Science data for better understanding. (Credits: NASA/Taylor Mickal)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — The urgency of Earth science and climate studies took the spotlight Friday as Vice President Kamala Harris visited NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The vice president received a firsthand look at how the nation’s space program studies climate change and provides crucial information to understand our planet’s changes and their impacts on our lives.

(more…)

Vice President Harris to Visit NASA Goddard Today, Deliver Live Remarks

Editor’s Note: UPI reports that Harris will announce that the first meeting of the National Space Council under the Biden Administration will be held on Dec. 1.

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — Vice President Kamala Harris will visit NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland today, Nov. 5, to get a firsthand look at the agency’s work to combat the climate crisis and protect vulnerable communities.

The vice president will be joined by NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and leaders from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey. The group will tour climate-oriented space activities underway at Goddard and learn about collaboration among federal agencies on space missions that are central to tackling the climate crisis and improving our scientific understanding of Earth’s systems.

Following the tour, at around 4:45 p.m. EDT, the vice president will deliver remarks that will be streamed live on NASA Television, NASA social media, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

For more information about NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the missions and activities it supports, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/goddard

ICEYE Announces Contract with NOAA to Tackle Environmental Hazards Often Linked to Climate Change

IRVINE, Calif., November 4, 2021 (ICEYE PR) – ICEYE, the largest commercial synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite operator and an expert in environmental hazard data, today announced a contract with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support the monitoring and response to environmental hazards in the maritime sector.

With this partnership, ICEYE will provide NOAA with radar satellite imagery to evaluate the impact of different environmental hazards in near-real time including oil spills, large-scale illegal fishing operations and ocean conditions related to the accumulation of marine debris. In addition, NOAA is looking into using ICEYE to identify already burned areas within active fires to help fire responders. The need for NOAA to monitor these hazards twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, is supported by ICEYE’s around the clock tasking capabilities.

(more…)

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.  

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.”