-- Spacecraft to Begin Several Weeks of In-Orbit Testing Prior to Commencement of Commercial Service --
DULLES, Va., Feb 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB), one of the world's leading space technology companies, announced today that the Intelsat 16 (IS-16) satellite, built by the company for Intelsat, Ltd., was successfully launched into orbit aboard an International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The mission began yesterday, February 11, with the lift-off of the Proton space launch vehicle at 7:40 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). The satellite successfully separated from the Proton rocket's Breeze M upper stage approximately nine hours and 30 minutes after launch.

Mr. Christopher Richmond, Orbital's Senior Vice President and head of its communications satellite business unit, said, "We are very pleased with the results of the launch aboard the ILS Proton rocket, which accurately placed the IS-16 spacecraft into its intended orbit. We are now embarking on several weeks of in-orbit testing to be carried out by Intelsat and Orbital engineers. The deployment of the IS-16 satellite comes less than three months after the Orbital-built IS-15 was launched into orbit. The in-orbit check-out process for the IS-15 satellite went very smoothly and it has now been turned over to Intelsat for routine commercial operations. We expect that the early mission activities for the IS-16 program will proceed equally as well."

Mr. Richmond added, "With the launch of IS-16, we have begun an exceptionally busy schedule for 2010, which includes the delivery of four more communications satellites to customers, with three of them scheduled to be launched this year. In addition, the flurry of new contract awards at the end of 2009 plus satellites already in production will keep our satellite design and production teams very busy throughout 2010."

Orbital designed, built and tested the IS-16 spacecraft at the company's satellite manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia. The satellite's Ku-band payload expands Intelsat's Latin America direct-to-home platform at its 58 degrees West longitude orbital position. The IS-16 satellite is expected to have a useful life of at least 15 years and is part of Intelsat's on-going 11-satellite launch campaign, the largest in Intelsat's history.

The IS-16 satellite is one of ten Orbital spacecraft ordered by Intelsat since 2001 that are either now in orbit or in production for upcoming launches. The other satellites are as follows:

  • Galaxy 12 and 14, currently in orbit providing C-band digital video programming, high-definition television (HDTV) and other fixed satellite services to the Continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Galaxy 15, currently in orbit providing HDTV services similar to Galaxy 12 and 14 with an additional L-band payload to relay Global Positioning Systems navigation data to in-flight aircraft.
  • Intelsat 11, a hybrid satellite currently in orbit with a C-band payload serving the continental United States, Mexico and South America, and a Ku-band payload offering direct-to-home services.
  • Horizons-2, currently in orbit for a joint venture between Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT of Japan, to meet the growing demand for Ku-band communications in North America.
  • Intelsat 15, a high-power Ku-band satellite providing video and data services to the Middle East and Indian Ocean regions. This newest Intelsat satellite was launched in November 2009.
  • Intelsat 18, a hybrid C- and Ku-band satellite now in production to provide services to East Asia, the Pacific, French Polynesia and the United States scheduled for delivery in 2010.
  • Intelsat New Dawn, a hybrid C- and Ku-band satellite now in production to provide services to Europe, Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan regions scheduled for delivery in 2010.
  • Intelsat 23, a Ku- and C-band satellite that will provide communications services to the Americas, Europe and Africa. The contract for IS-23 was awarded to Orbital by Intelsat in December 2009; delivery of the spacecraft is scheduled for late 2011.

Orbital's highly successful geosynchronous Earth orbit communications satellites are based on the company's STARTM spacecraft platform, which is able to accommodate all types of commercial communications payloads and is compatible will all major commercial launchers. The company's STAR product line includes the STAR 2.4 platform, which is optimized for smaller satellite missions, generating up to 5.0 kW of payload power. Orbital has also designed the higher-power STAR 2.7 spacecraft, which delivers the next increment of payload power for applications between 5.0 and 7.5 kW, allowing Orbital to offer innovative and reliable satellite designs for medium-class communications applications.

About Intelsat

Intelsat is the leading provider of fixed satellite services worldwide. For more than 45 years, Intelsat has been delivering information and entertainment for many of the world's leading media and network companies, multinational corporations, Internet service providers and governmental agencies. Intelsat's satellite, teleport and fiber infrastructure is unmatched in the industry, setting the standard for transmissions of video, data and voice services.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company's primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com.

Note to Editors: High-resolution images of the IS-16 satellite are available on Orbital's web site at: http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/ImagesMultimedia/Images/SatelliteSpaceSystems.

SOURCE: Orbital Sciences Corporation

Orbital Sciences Corporation
Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528
Public and Investor Relations