NASA Selects Launch Services Contract For Jason-3 Mission
NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., to launch the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Jason-3 spacecraft in December 2014 aboard a Falcon 9 v1.0 rocket from Complex 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Basein California.
It is estimated that the total value of Jason 3 launch service is $ 82 million. This estimated cost includes the task ordered launch service for the Falcon 9 v1.0, plus additional services under other contracts for payload processing, launch vehicle integration, mission-unique launch site ground support and tracking, data and telemetry services.
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The Launch Services Program at NASA's Kennedy Space Center is responsible for launch vehicle program management of the Jason-3 launch services.
Jason-3 is an operational ocean altimetry mission designed to measure precisely sea surface height to monitor ocean circulation and sea level. This mission will be developed and operated as part of an international effort led by NOAA and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites in collaboration with NASA and the French space agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales.
The data that will gathered from this will be used over wide range of applications that include operational ocean and weather forecasting, ocean wave modelling, hurricane intensification prediction, seasonal forecasting, El Nino and La Nina forecasting and climate research.
According to the researchers this data will help to address questions about global climate change.