DULLES, Va., July 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that the Ariane 5 rocket that launched the company-built BSAT-2b geostationary communications satellite yesterday evening did not achieve the mission's intended orbit.

The initial data from the launch indicates that the satellite was placed into an orbit with an apogee of 17,528 kilometers and a perigee of 592 kilometers, inclined at 2.9 degrees, which will not allow the spacecraft to complete its mission. The targeted orbit for the mission was an apogee of 35,853 kilometers and a perigee of 858 kilometers, inclined at 2.0 degrees. Arianespace has already begun a thorough analysis of the flight data to determine the cause of the performance shortfall.

The BSAT-2b satellite is the second of a pair of direct-to-home digital television broadcasting platforms built by Orbital for Japan's Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT). The first satellite, BSAT-2a, is currently in service, providing reliable broadcasting service throughout Japan following its successful launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket in March 2001. BSAT-2b is intended to serve as an in-orbit back-up for BSAT-2a.

Orbital develops and manufactures affordable space systems, including satellites, launch vehicles, sensors and electronics, and advanced systems. Orbital is also involved with satellite-based networks that provide wireless data communications and high-resolution Earth imagery to customers all around the world.

More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com .

CONTACT: Media: Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528, or
beneski.barron@orbital.com, or Investors: Tim Perrott, 703-406-5997, or
perrott.tim@orbital.com, both of Orbital Sciences Corporation.
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SOURCE Orbital Sciences Corporation

CONTACT: Media: Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528, or beneski.barron@orbital.com, or Investors: Tim Perrott, 703-406-5997, or perrott.tim@orbital.com, both of Orbital Sciences Corporation/