Lockheed Martin Secures $2.27 Billion Contract with NASA to Build New Satellite

The sign for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company at its facility in Fort Worth, TX, USA © JHVEPhoto - stock.adobe.com

The sign for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company at its facility in Fort Worth, TX, USA © JHVEPhoto - stock.adobe.com

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected Lockheed Martin to build a spacecraft for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) satellite program. The contract with NOAA is valued at $2.27 billion and will include the development of three spacecrafts as well as four options for additional spacecrafts, according to a press release about the announcement (1).

The Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) program will observe earth from geostationary orbit, replacing the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites - R Series (GOES-R) system in the early 2030s, the end of its operational lifespan (2). GEoXO will expand on GOES-R’s visible and infrared imagery, and its lightning mapping capabilities (2). The new satellite system will also include hyperspectral sounding, atmospheric composition, and ocean color observations (2).

"Our team is excited and ready to move forward to design and field this critical national capability," said Kyle Griffin, vice president and general manager of Commercial Civil Space at Lockheed Martin in a press release (3). "Our GeoXO design draws heavily from what we've learned with GOES-R spacecraft over the last 15 years, while incorporating new, digital technologies not only onboard the vehicles but in the design and development of this powerful, weather-monitoring platform of the future."

Read More: How NASA Scientists are Using Spectroscopy to Study Exoplanets

The scope of the contract with NASA includes the design, analysis, development, fabrication, testing, evaluation, and support launch of the GeoXO satellites, according to the press release. Lockheed Martin will also provide engineering development units, and supply and maintain the equipment and simulators at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland (1).

The information supplied by the GeoXO satellite system will help address challenges including changing weather, climate, and the ocean, according to NOAA. Data from the system will help develop weather forecast models, including severe weather warnings and short-term forecasts. It will also be able to detect wildfires, smoke, dust, volcanic ash, flooding, and drought (1).

Lockheed Martin has worked closely with NASA and other space agencies on the development of satellites. Last year, the company announced a $816 million contract with the Space Development Agency tobuild 36 Tranche 2 Transport Layer (T2TL) beta satellites (4). T2TL is part of an overarching plan to build more resilient space architectures for beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) targeting, data transport, and advanced missile detection and tracking.

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Spectroscopic technology has historically played a significant role in the development of satellites and other technologies. The GeoXO, for example, will contain an atmospheric composition instrument (ACX), essentially a hyperspectral spectrometer that measures a wide spectrum of light from ultraviolet (UV) to visible. The tool will provide hourly observations of air pollutants emitted into the atmosphere by transportation, power generation, industry, oil and gas extraction, wildfires, and volcanoes. In May, NASA announced that BAE Systems would manufacture the ACX system.


  1. NASA. (2024, June 18). NASA selects Lockheed Martin to build next-gen spacecraft for NOAA. EurekaAlert. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1048711 (accessed 2024-06-19).
  2. Geostationary Extended Observations (Geoxo). https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/our-satellites/future-programs/geostationary-extended-observations-geoxo (accessed 2024-06-19).
  3. Lockheed Martin Selected to Develop Next Generation Weather Satellite Constellation. Lockheed Martin. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2024-06-18-Lockheed-Martin-Selected-to-Develop-Next-Generation-Weather-Satellite-Constellation (accessed 2024-06-18).
  4. Lockheed Martin Selected to Deliver 36 Small Satellites To Advance Space Development Agency’s Communications Network. (2023, August 21). Lockheed Martin. https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2023-08-21-Lockheed-Martin-Selected-to-Deliver-36-Small-Satellites-to-Advance-Space-Development-Agencys-Communications-Network . (accessed 2024-06-18).
  5. Geoxo Atmospheric Composition Instrument (ACX). National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. (n.d.-b). https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/our-satellites/future-programs/geoxo/geoxo-atmospheric-composition-instrument-acx (accessed 2024-06-19).
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