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NASA Awards NOAA’s QuickSounder Spacecraft Contract

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NASA, on behalf of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), has awarded a delivery order under the Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition IV (Rapid-IV) contract to Southwest Research Institute of San Antonio for the QuickSounder spacecraft.

The firm-fixed-price delivery order covers all phases of QuickSounder’s operations to include spacecraft development, integration of NOAA’s Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder Engineering Development Unit, spacecraft shipment, supporting launch operations, three years of mission operations, and eventual spacecraft decommissioning.

The total value of the order is $54,973,400 with the period of performance beginning Wednesday, Oct. 25, and scheduled to run until May 2029.

QuickSounder is the first project in NOAA’s Near Earth Orbit Network. As a pathfinder mission, QuickSounder will support NOAA’s next generation satellite architecture for its future low Earth orbit program, which will provide mission-critical data to support NOAA’s National Weather Service and the nation’s weather industry.

Rapid IV contracts serve as a fast and flexible means for the government to acquire spacecraft and related components, equipment, and services in support of NASA missions and/or other federal government agencies. The spacecraft designs, related items, and services may be tailored, as needed, to meet the unique needs of each mission.

The Near Earth Orbit Network is a collaborative mission between NASA and NOAA. NASA will manage the development and launch of the satellites for NOAA, which will operate them and deliver data to users worldwide. NOAA, as the mission lead, provides funding, technical requirements, and post-launch operations. NASA and NOAA will work with commercial partners to design and build the network’s spacecraft and instruments.      

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:


Abbey Donaldson
Headquarters, Washington

Jeremy Eggers
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland



Last Updated
Oct 25, 2023