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Northrop, Air Force restructure NPOESS contract
Posted: Tue, Jul 31, 2007, 7:10 AM ET (1110 GMT)
NPOESS satellite illustration (NOAA) The Air Force and Northrop Grumman announced Monday that they have completed the restructuring of a contract for a new generation of weather satellites. As part of a $4.2-billion contract modification for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), the two sides agreed to a revised schedule that calls for the launch a prototype spacecraft, the NPOESS Preparatory Project, in 2009, and the first NPOESS satellite in 2013. The contract includes options for two additional NPOESS satellites. The NPOESS program has been beset by schedule delays and budget overruns and the government oversight of the program, a joint office run by the Air Force, NOAA, and NASA, has been criticized by Congress. Some sensors were removed from the NPOESS satellites to reduce cost and risk. NPOESS is designed to replace existing civil and military polar-orbiting weather satellites.
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