Raytheon has been awarded a $150m contract to support Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, US.

The contract has a five-year performance period and includes options that, if exercised, would bring its value to $300m over ten years.

Under the contract, Raytheon will build new space systems and flight software. It will be responsible for providing engineering, training and operations support for JPL and will support a range of classified missions.

Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) president Dave Wajsgras said: “JPL’s pioneering spacecraft and rovers have led to groundbreaking discoveries of our solar system and beyond. This is an incredible opportunity to continue enabling the future of space exploration.”

Raytheon is expected to commence contract work from this month.

In the 1960s, the company contributed to Nasa’s Mariner missions by developing the programme’s Mars Infrared Radiometer.

It currently manages data systems, testing and software development for JPL and offers on-call technical support for missions such as Mars rover landings.

Raytheon IIS vice-president Todd Probert said: “For the past 20 years, we’ve worked side by side with JPL’s engineers and scientists. Helping JPL explore the mysteries of our universe is something most of our team literally dreamed about when they were kids.”

In addition to JPL, Raytheon also supports the Neutral Buoyancy Lab at Nasa Johnson Space Center, the earth science data network, the Joint Polar Satellite System ground station and two key space launch facilities in the US.