SPARKS, Nev. (September 3, 2015) – Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Space Systems congratulates NASA, NOAA and Lockheed Martin on successfully capturing the first-ever continuous images of the entire sunlit side of planet Earth. SNC is proud to have supplied several key mechanisms for this mission.
NASA, in partnership with NOAA and the U.S. Air Force, launched the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite in early 2015. The primary mission objective of this satellite is to maintain real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of weather alerts and forecasts generated by NOAA.
Lockheed Martin produced the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) instrument for DSCOVR, which recently returned the never-before-captured continuous images of the entire sunlit side of Earth. SNC’s Space Systems Space Technologies product line was proud to support Lockheed Martin with the design, fabrication and integration of the EPIC instrument door, hinges and release mechanisms.
“As a leader in subsystem and component manufacturing, our primary goal at SNC is to deliver a superior product to our customers for every mission,” said Bryan Helgesen, director of Business Development, SNC’s Space Systems. “We have a strong relationship with NASA, as exemplified by our 12 missions to Mars, and are pleased to have been chosen by Lockheed Martin to participate in this exciting mission.”
Unlike the vast majority of satellites which operate in low-Earth orbit, DSCOVR orbits at Lagrangian point 1, approximately one million miles from Earth. This orbit—which is 4,000 times further than the International Space Station—is the ideal position for monitoring solar winds and other atmospheric activity. It’s from this unique vantage point that the EPIC instrument is able to acquire scientific-quality images of the entire sunlit face of Earth. Data from EPIC will be used to measure ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth. NASA will use this data for a number of Earth science applications, including dust and volcanic ash maps of the entire planet.
SNC’s Space Systems has a long standing relationship with the EPIC instrument prime contractor, Lockheed Martin. SNC contracted Lockheed Martin to manufacture the Dream Chaser® spacecraft orbital test vehicle composite structure, which is currently under development at their Fort Worth, Texas facility.
For over 25 years, SNC’s Space Systems Space Technologies product line has been designing and manufacturing precision space mechanisms and complex spacecraft subsystems for a wide variety of space applications. As a result of our history of success—launching thousands of devices on hundreds of missions—and our expanding portfolio of products, SNC’s Space Technologies has become a supplier of choice within the aerospace industry.
About Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems
About Sierra Nevada Corporation
SNC has six unique business areas that are dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to its dynamic customer base. SNC has a proven track record of success spanning more than five decades. It is focused on providing its customers with the very best in diversified technologies and continues to focus its growth on the commercial sector through internal advancements in dual-use applications and outside acquisitions including the emerging markets of telemedicine, Cyber, net-centric operations and commercial airlines.
For more information on SNC visit www.sncorp.com and follow us at Facebook/Sierra Nevada Corporation. Sierra Nevada Corporation and SNC are trademarks of Sierra Nevada Corporation.
Media Contact: CommunicationsFromSNC@sncorp.com or Betsy McDonald at 775-849-6435.
Image of Earth taken by the EPIC instrument on DSCOVR satellite.