GW MSPM Student, Robert Estes Prepares for Weather Satellite Launch!

GW MSPM Student, Robert Estes

Robert Estes, a GW School of Business student in the Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) program, is joining National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) effort to launch into orbit the new weather satellite for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) called the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1). The JPSS-1 is slated to launch this week on 10 November 2017, at an altitude of 512 miles above the earth. Launch schedule has been moved to 14 November as of writing of this blog.


Once launched, the JPSS-1 will be circling in the same plane as the Ball-built Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP). The JPSS-1 will survey landscapes, oceans and the atmosphere to predict incoming weather systems through heat recognition. JPSS-1 represents significant technological advancement in providing weather forecasts three to seven days in advance. JPSS-1 will operate about 50 minutes ahead of Suomi NPP.

JPSS1 Model undergoing final checks. Photo shared by Robert Estes.

Mr. Estes has been a part of this project from concept to launch. He and his team collaborated with several agencies including: scientists from NOAA, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the NASA Langley Research Center, the Nordic Bremen Aerospace Center and Ball Aerospace.

NOAA JPSS Instruments. Photo retrieved from

As posted on an earlier blog, Mr. Estes is a long time Project Manager at NASA, responsible for project costs, schedules, technical performance and management of the critical JPSS-1 CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) component. He joined the GW MSPM program in Fall 2017. In an interview with the GW Hatchet on September 2017, Mr. Estes recognizes that the skillset needed to work on JPSS-1, often reflected the leadership skills he was learning in his classes.

“There’s tons of ties,” Estes said. “All of the disciplines you find in project management, and as we’re starting to go through organizational risk management, I see that reflected in the work I do almost on a daily basis.”

“It all plays a part in it, and I really put it directly to use,” Estes said.

In support of Mr. Estes and team, the GW MSPM will host a post launch event at GW School of Business on 8 December 2017. The event is open to the public. MSPM students and alumni are highly encouraged to attend.

YouTube link for the live JPSS-1 Launch is posted via:

We wish Mr. Estes and his team all the best on this endeavor!

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  1. Pingback: MSPM In The KNOW: November 14, 2017 | GW MS In Project Management Blog

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