Launch Marks the 43rd Flight of the World s
First Commercial Rocket
Air-Launched Pegasus Rocket Deployed from Company s Stargazer
L-1011 Carrier Aircraft
DULLES, Va.Dec. 15, 2016--
Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense
technologies, today announced that its Pegasus rocket
successfully launched the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System
(CYGNSS) satellite for NASA. The successful launch was the 29th
consecutive successful mission for the Pegasus rocket since 1997 and the
43rd overall flight of the world s first privately developed
Orbital ATK's Pegasus Rocket Successfully Launched NASA's CYGNSS Weather Monitoring Spacecraft on December 15, 2016. (Photo: Business Wire)
We are proud to provide another successful Pegasus launch for our NASA
customer, said Rich Straka, Vice President and General Manager of
Orbital ATK s Launch Vehicles Division. Congratulations to the NASA
CYGNSS and Orbital ATK teams on another great mission.
Pegasus is the leading launch system for the deployment of small
satellites into low-Earth orbit. As the only NASA Launch Services
Category 3 vehicle in the small-launch class, Pegasus is certified to
launch NASA s most valuable satellites.
The CYGNSS constellation of eight satellites is a NASA Earth System
Science Pathfinder Mission that will collect space based measurements of
the inner core of tropical cyclones. The CYGNSS constellation will
provide scientists and meteorologists with the data necessary to improve
tropical cyclone forecasting and tracking methods.
For the first phase of the launch, CYGNSS and the Pegasus rocket were
carried into the atmosphere beneath Orbital ATK's "Stargazer" L-1011
carrier aircraft. They were released from the plane at approximately
39,000 feet, and then the Pegasus motors ignited, carrying CYGNSS to its
intended 35 degree orbit so the constellation will be able to survey the
mid latitudes where most cyclones form.
As an air-launched system, Pegasus has unparalleled flexibility to
operate from virtually anywhere on Earth with minimal ground support
requirements. This was the first Pegasus mission in 12 years to launch
from Cape Canaveral. Pegasus missions have been conducted from six
separate sites in the U.S., Europe and the Marshall Islands.
As a vertically integrated launch system, Pegasus combines key Orbital
ATK strengths from multiple locations across the company, said Scott
Lehr, President of Orbital ATK s Flight Systems Group.
The vehicle s avionics and control systems, solid rocket motors, and
composite structures are manufactured at Orbital ATK facilities in
Chandler, Arizona; Dulles, Virginia; Vandenberg Air Force Base,
California; and Bacchus and Clearfield, Utah.
The solid rocket motors used on Pegasus have also been used in more than
110 other Orbital ATK-built launch vehicles. These include the company s
Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) missile defense interceptors, IRBM- and
ICBM-class target vehicles, Minotaur space launch vehicles and Hyper-X
hypersonic test boosters.
About Orbital ATK
Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies.
The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation
systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and
merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related
propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense
electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition;
satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced
aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK
employs approximately 12,000 people in 18 states across the U.S. and in
several international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.
Source: Orbital ATK
Pegasus Media Contact:
Trina Helquist, 801-699-0943
Vehicles Division Public Relations
Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528
Public and Investor