NASA has awarded the Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor-2 (TSIS-2) spacecraft construction contract to General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group of San Diego, California.

According to NASA, the award is a hybrid firm-fixed price, time and materials contract equating to approximately US$32.9 million. The base contract is for spacecraft development in the amount of about $29.2 million The contract also contains Options 1 through 9 for launch delays and mission operations in the amount of approximately US$2 million. The time and materials portion of the contract is for a not to exceed amount of US$1.6 million. General Atomics will also be responsible for operations of the mission operations center for three years, until the retirement of the TSIS-2 spacecraft.

Solar Irradiance measurements to be made by the spacecraft are regarded as key to understanding solar influences on Earth’s climate. The first TSIS sensor was mounted on the International Space Station (ISS).