DULLES, Va., March 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The successful execution of three separate space missions during the past week has propelled Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) to a major operational milestone -- the completion of 100 consecutive successful space missions over the past 50 months -- the company stated today. Since January 1997, Orbital's wide variety of space technology products have established a track record of outstanding reliability, with an impressive series of 45 satellite deployments, 36 rocket launches, 14 robotics missions and 5 space sensor and other payloads successfully launched, deployed and operated during this period. Since the mid-1990's, Orbital has been among the most operationally active and successful space companies in the world.
"It is a great source of pride to all of us at Orbital to be an innovative and dependable supplier of some of the industry's most reliable space technology products," said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "With numerous other space missions on the 2001 calendar, we are looking forward to extending this extraordinary 'winning streak' for our customers even further this year."
The three missions recently carried out include two space robotics systems produced by the company's Ontario, Canada-based MD Robotics division. The "Canadarm" Remote Manipulator System was used aboard the Space Shuttle's current mission to support extensive extra-vehicular activities by the astronaut crew to further assemble the International Space Station (ISS) and prepare it for long-term habitation.
In addition, the Robotic Work Station payload was installed in the U.S. Destiny module on the ISS. It will serve as the astronaut crew's control station for the ISS' new external robotics system, which is also built by MD Robotics. This new advanced robotics system will be launched and installed on another Space Shuttle mission currently scheduled in April.
Orbital also deployed a new geostationary communications satellite for Japan's Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT). The BSAT-2a satellite was launched into orbit on March 8 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. The initial in-orbit checkout of the spacecraft has been fully successful, with all data indicating that the satellite is operating as expected. Over the next several weeks, after a more extensive series of tests are performed, the BSAT-2a satellite will be moved to its final orbital position at 110 degrees East longitude and will be delivered to B-SAT for initiation of television broadcast services in Japan.
'Orbital is one of the world's leading manufacturers of low-cost space systems, including satellites, launch vehicles, space sensors and satellite ground systems. Its Magellan subsidiary offers the industry's broadest line of GPS-enabled navigation and positioning products for consumer and industrial markets. Through its relationships with ORBCOMM, ORBIMAGE and ORBNAV, Orbital is also involved with satellite-based networks that provide data communications, high-resolution imagery and automotive information services to customers around the world.
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SOURCE Orbital Sciences Corporation
CONTACT: Media: Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528, or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Investors: Timothy Perrott, 703-406-5997, or email@example.com; both of Orbital Sciences Corporation/