Q. What is the cost of the NPP mission?
A. The estimated total investment in the NPP mission is just over $1.5 billion. Of that total, NASA’s projected final investment, for the NPP spacecraft, NASA instruments, and launch is $895 million. NOAA and the U.S. Air Force contributed an estimated $677 million under the former NPOESS program for the VIIRS, CrIS, and OMPS instruments.
Q. Is NPP a weather, or a climate satellite? What’s the difference?
A. Scientists like to say, climate is what you expect, weather is what you get. The real difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time. With NASA’s NPP, you’re getting both climate observations and weather predictions.
Q. What is the design life for the NPP spacecraft and its instruments?
A. The NPP satellite has a design life of five years. The VIIRS, CrIS, ATMS and OMPS sensors as developed for the NPOESS mission had a design lifetime of seven years. The CERES instrument was built during the EOS Program along with four other flight models still operating on-orbit after about 10 years.
Q. If NPP is considered a bridge mission, what comes next?
A. The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is key for continuity of long-standing climate measurements that will be provided by NPP. JPSS-1 is the first of the next generation of satellites to be managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NASA is the program’s procurement agency and leads the acquisition for JPSS.
Q. Are the instruments that will fly on NPP the same as those being built for JPSS?
A. Yes. JPSS will fly the same suite of instruments with advanced technologies to improve our current capabilities, further advancing weather and climate science and services. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is responsible for the management of the satellites and instruments associated with JPSS. NASA is the program’s procurement agency and leads the acquisition for JPSS.
Q. What is the role of Ball Aerospace on JPSS?
A. Under contract to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Ball Aerospace is responsible for designing and building the JPSS-1 satellite bus, the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument, integrating all instruments, and performing satellite-level testing and launch support.