NASA ADMINISTRATOR BOLDEN VISITS ORBITAL'S ARIZONA SATELLITE AND ROCKET MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS
-- Administrator Briefed on Earth Science Satellites Currently in Production at Company's Gilbert, AZ Satellite Plant and Meets With Employees in Town Hall Setting --
-- Gen. Bolden Tours Chandler, AZ Launch Vehicle Engineering and Test Facility and Is Briefed on Small- and Medium-Class Rocket Launches for Upcoming NASA Missions --
(Dulles, VA 13 August 2013) - Last Friday, August 9, Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) hosted Major Gen. Charles F. Bolden (USMC, Ret.), Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), at its satellite and rocket manufacturing and test facilities in Gilbert and Chandler, AZ. Administrator Bolden traveled to Gilbert to view and receive a briefing on progress of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) atmospheric science satellite that is now nearing completion at the company's satellite factory in preparation for its launch in 2014. Gen. Bolden was also briefed on two other Gilbert-based NASA Earth science satellites, the recently launched and commissioned Landsat-8 spacecraft and the ICESat-2 satellite program that completed its Critical Design Review the day prior to his visit.
During Administrator Bolden's visit to Orbital's Gilbert satellite manufacturing facility, the company highlighted the nearly 150 satellites it has built and delivered over the last 30 years, with particular emphasis on the more than 30 spacecraft developed and produced for NASA scientific and technology demonstration missions. "We were very pleased to have the opportunity to brief Administrator Bolden on our long-term involvement with NASA's Earth science satellite programs," said Orbital's President and Chief Executive Officer David W. Thompson, who accompanied the Administrator throughout his visit. "Over the past three decades, Orbital has built 31 satellites in support of NASA and other civil agency scientific research, 18 of which are related to Earth science. With four new science satellites now in development, we continue to strongly support NASA's mission to collect the data researchers use to study long-term patterns and changes to Earth's atmosphere, oceans and land surfaces."
Following his visit to the Gilbert clean room where the OCO-2 spacecraft is located, Administrator Bolden met with Phoenix news media to stress the importance of NASA's Earth science satellite programs and the critical data they provide to the scientific community. Afterward, he also met with approximately 100 Orbital employees who work on Earth science satellite programs for a lively and entertaining "Town Hall" style meeting during which he answered questions ranging from the future of Earth science programs to his experiences as a NASA astronaut.
Gen. Bolden and Mr. Thompson then traveled to Orbital's launch vehicle engineering and manufacturing facilities in Chandler. There, the Administrator toured the plant and was briefed on the company's small- and medium-class launch capabilities, with Orbital having built over 80 space launch vehicles since 1990, approximately 30 of which were used for NASA missions. Orbital also updated the Administrator on two upcoming missions for NASA, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Experiment Explorer (LADEE), which is scheduled for launch on an Minotaur V rocket built and operated by Orbital, and the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Demonstration Mission that will be launched aboard Orbital's new medium-class Antares rocket. Both missions are scheduled to be launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia in September.
"Gen. Bolden's visit to our facilities was a real morale boost for many of our employees who had the opportunity to attend the Town Hall or interact with him during the facility tours," Thompson added. "With his personal background as a military leader, a NASA astronaut and the head of the world's foremost national space agency, it is hard not to be inspired by his enthusiasm and passion for man's activities in space and the benefits it affords life on Earth."
Orbital employs approximately 1,500 people at its Gilbert and Chandler facilities.
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
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Notes to editors: For photos of Administrator Bolden's visit to Orbital's Arizona operations, please visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/sets/72157634995321509/with/9480300826/
Barron Beneski (703) 406-5528
Public and Investor Relations