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NASA Selects Contractor for ICESat-2 Spacecraft

Orbital Sciences To Design And Build The Satellite

NASA has selected Orbital Science Corporation of Dulles, VA, to build the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) spacecraft. Under the terms of the $135 million delivery order (including the spacecraft and all associated options), the contractor will be responsible for the design and fabrication of the ICESat-2 spacecraft bus, integration of the government-furnished instrument, satellite-level testing, on-orbit satellite check-out, and continuing on-orbit engineering support. The work will be performed at the contractor's facility.

ICESat-2 will use precision laser-ranging techniques to measure the topography of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and the thickness of sea ice. The mission was recommended by the National Research Council in its 2007 decadal survey of NASA Earth science research priorities. ICESat-2 supports NASA's Earth science program by helping scientists develop a better scientific understanding of the Earth system and its response to natural or human-induced changes.

ICESat-2 builds on measurements taken by NASA's ICESat mission. Data from ICESat, which was in orbit from 2003 to 2010, revealed thinning of the world's ice sheets.

The ICESat-2 delivery order was awarded under the Rapid III multiple awards Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The contract is for core spacecraft systems, with non-standard services such as operations, launch services, components, and studies to meet the government's space science, Earth science and technology needs. The principle purpose of the Rapid III contract is to provide core spacecraft systems with any necessary modifications to meet specific mission needs.

FMI: http://icesat.gsfc.nasa.gov/icesat2/

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