DSCOVR is the second mission awarded under the previously announced $9.1 million NASA Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract with Astrotech Space Operations-Florida.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force also are partners on this mission scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Orbiting one million miles from Earth, DSCOVR will provide advance warning for severe solar storms that may adversely affect power grids, communications, aircraft and GPS navigation on Earth as well as spacecraft operations.
"Just as current NOAA satellites monitor changing atmospheric conditions on Earth, DSCOVR will monitor and warn us about harmful solar storms approaching our planet," stated Astrotech Corporation CEO Thomas B. Pickens III. "We are proud to be part of this important mission, which is also the first time Astrotech will process a satellite for launch on a SpaceX rocket."
ASO Florida has provided payload processing for NASA satellites such as RBSP, Juno, SDO, LRO/LCROSS, GRAIL and TDRS-K. TDRS-L will arrive for processing later this year. Another space weather mission, MMS, is slated for mid-2014 launch.