Orbital ATK has received the green light to begin development work on NASAâ€™s land remote sensing satellite designed to gather space-based images and data that can support agriculture, disaster relief and land use mapping research efforts.
The company said Thursday the approval came after it completed a critical design review, which showed that the Landsat 9 satellite meets technical performance requirements.
Orbital ATK and NASA representatives carried out the critical design review from Feb. 26 through March 1 at the companyâ€™s facility in Gilbert, Arizona.
The Dulles, Virginia-based defense and aerospace contractor will design and build the spacecraft, integrate two government-supplied instruments and support launch and on-orbit operations under a potential five-year, $130 million contractÂ awarded in October 2016.
TheÂ U.S. Geological SurveyÂ will operate the land surface mapping satellite that is slated for launch in late 2020.
The spacecraft is the fourth Orbital ATK-developed Landsat and is based on the companyâ€™s LEOStar-3 spacecraft bus platform.