Boeing to Build Spin Mechanism for Earth-Observing NASA Spacecraft
EL SEGUNDO, Calif.- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] on July 8 received a contract from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to provide a subsystem for a new spacecraft that will help scientists understand the effects of global warming on water systems and crop yields. The terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The spin mechanism Boeing will provide for the Soil Moisture Active and Passive (SMAP) observatory will enable the spacecraft’s sensor to rotate smoothly and continuously as it scans the Earth’s surface, measuring soil moisture and temperature. The JPL expects to launch the observatory between 2010 and 2013.
“We are excited about this new relationship with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in support of this important environmental mission,” said Stephen O’Neill, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc. “Boeing’s decades of experience with spinning spacecraft began in 1963 with the launch of Syncom, the first communications satellite in geosynchronous orbit. We will provide a full range of capabilities to help ensure the success of the SMAP mission.”
The SMAP spacecraft will provide unprecedented accuracy and resolution of globally mapped moisture conditions in the top layer of the Earth’s surface to extend the capabilities of weather climate and prediction models. SMAP data also will be used to measure the uptake and release of carbon in forested regions and to improve flood prediction and drought monitoring.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world’s largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
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