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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Lockheed Martin Solar X-Ray Imager to Be Launched on NOAA GOES-N Spacecraft

via PRNewswire

PALO ALTO , Calif., May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Solar X-ray Imager(SXI) instrument, designed and built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) at its Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) is ready for flight.

Built for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Md., SXI is awaiting launch -- scheduled for May 24 -- on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GOES-N spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. SXI is one of a suite of instruments that resides on the current generation of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites(GOES).

"We are extremely proud to have our first SXI instrument ready for launchand look forward to seeing it operating on-orbit," said Mons Morrison, SXI program manager at the ATC. "While the other GOES instruments provide near-constant viewing of the Earth, SXI is designed to view the Sun andprovide vital information regarding solar activity."

The SXI, one of a suite of instruments on the GOES-N satellite, will be used to aid NOAA and U.S. Air Force personnel in is suing forecasts and alertsof "space weather" conditions, and in developing a better understanding of Sun-related phenomena that affect the Earth's environment.

Turbulent "space weather" can affect radio communication on Earth, induce currents in electric power grids and long distance pipelines, causenavigational errors in magnetic guidance systems, upset satellite circuitryand expose astronauts to increased radiation.

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