-- First of Four Planned GEO Communications Satellite Launches in 2009 Set for Mid-February --

DULLES, Va. Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, announced today that it is in final preparations for the launch of the NSS-9 commercial communications satellite for its customer SES NEW SKIES of The Hague, The Netherlands. The spacecraft is currently at the spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana, undergoing final preparations for its launch into geosynchronous orbit (GEO) aboard an Ariane 5 ECA rocket. The launch is currently scheduled for February 12, 2009.

“We are looking forward to initiating the NSS-9 mission for SES NEW SKIES with the upcoming launch from Kourou aboard an Ariane rocket and the in-orbit testing sequence that will be conducted in the weeks to follow,” said Mr. Michael Larkin, Orbital’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Space Systems Group. “The process of designing, manufacturing and testing the NSS-9 satellite was very efficient, from the beginning of the program through the current launch preparations.”

Orbital highlighted that the NSS-9 satellite was delivered for launch in less than 23 months from the start of the contract. Mr. Larkin added, “With this efficient operational performance, we achieved an important company goal of further improving our industry-leading production cycle time to under 24 months on a routine basis.”

The NSS-9 spacecraft will provide C-band telecommunications services using three interconnected beams, enabling global, Eastern and Western hemisphere coverage. The satellite, which is based on Orbital’s STAR-2 platform, has a launch mass of approximately 2,200 kilograms and will generate approximately 2.3 kW of payload power to service 28 active transponders. The NSS-9 satellite will be positioned at 183 degrees East longitude upon successful completion of its in-orbit testing.

Orbital’s highly successful communications satellites are based on the company’s STAR spacecraft platform, which is able to accommodate all types of commercial communications payloads. The STAR design is optimized for smaller satellite missions, generating between two and five kilowatts of payload power.

For many applications, the lighter-weight, more-affordable STAR design is an attractive alternative to the larger, more costly satellites offered by other suppliers. Orbital’s STAR satellites are smaller and significantly less expensive to manufacture and launch. They are an ideal fit for established companies that require incremental capacity for their network or for customers in the early stages of building their business.


SES NEW SKIES is an SES GLOBAL company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) offering satellite communication services to a range of customers including telecommunications providers, broadcasters, corporations and governments around the world. SES NEW SKIES has a global fleet of seven satellites in orbit, with three additional spacecraft under construction (NSS-9, NSS-12 and NSS-14) and ground facilities around the world.

Headquartered in The Hague, the company has offices in Johannesburg, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Sydney and Washington, D.C. In addition to SES NEW SKIES, SES wholly owns the market-leading satellite operators SES ASTRA in Europe and SES AMERICOM in North America, 90% of SES SIRIUS in Europe, and strategic participations in Ciel in Canada and Quetzsat in Mexico. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a global fleet of 39 satellites in 26 orbital locations. Further information on the company is available at www.ses-newskies.com and on SES at www.ses.com

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 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 government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com

Note to editors:

High resolution (300+ d.p.i.) images of the NSS-9 satellite are available on the company’s web site at: http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/ImagesMultimedia/Images/SatelliteSpaceSystems/index.shtml

Source: Orbital Sciences Corporation

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