Orbital Sciences Wins $50M Contract from NASA to Build Icon Space Weather Satellite
Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world's leading space technology companies, announced today that it has been selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to design, manufacture, integrate and test a new heliophysics science satellite that will investigate the connection between space weather storms in the ionosphere, located at the edge of outer space, and Earth's terrestrial weather. Orbital will provide its LEOStar-2 spacecraft platform and conduct systems integration and test for the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission at its Dulles, VA satellite design and production facilities. Orbital's contract for the two-year mission is valued at $50 million. The mission, which will be led by the University of California at Berkeley, is currently planned for launch in 2017.
The mission of the ICON satellite is to study the interface between the upper reaches of the Earth's atmosphere and outer space in response to a recent scientific discovery that the ionosphere, positioned at the edge of space where the Sun ionizes the air to create charged particles, is significantly influenced by storms in the lower atmosphere. ICON will also help NASA better understand how atmospheric winds control ionospheric variability.
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