NASA Selects ULA-Built Atlas V Rocket to Launch JPSS-2 in 2021


United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), has won a contract to help NASA launch a polar-orbiting environmental weather satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NASA said Saturday the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 will launch aboard a ULA-built Atlas V 401 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California sometime in 2021.

The space agency estimates that the cost of the JPSS-2 mission to reach $170.6 million.

JPSS-2 is the third satellite in the JPSS constellation that will work to collect global measurements of atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic conditions to support weather forecasting and environmental hazard assessment.

Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA) will build, integrate and test the JPSS-2 spacecraft as part of a potential $253 million delivery order awarded by NASA in March 2015.

NASA selected ULA after a competitive launch service task order evaluation under the agency’s Launch Services II contract, the company said Friday.

Laura Maginnis, vice president of ULA’s government satellite launch business, said the company will work with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Goddard Space Flight Center and NOAA on the JPSS-2 mission.

ULA is also scheduled to launch JPSS-1 from Vandenberg AFB in September.

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