DULLES, Va., Aug 08, 2002 /PRNewsire-FirstCall via Comtex/ --

Company's L-1011 'Stargazer' Aircraft to Serve as Launch Platform for Small Unmanned Supersonic Aircraft

Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that it has been awarded a contract by Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan, valued at up to $21 million, to provide launch support services for an experimental supersonic flight test program that is being sponsored by Japan's National Aerospace Laboratory. Under the contract, which is subject to annual budget reauthorization, Orbital will utilize its "Stargazer" L-1011 to carry a small-scale, unmanned supersonic airplane to a preplanned altitude and location, where it will be released to commence its autonomous flight. The ground activities and flight tests will originate from Woomera Airfield, Australia, with the first flight of the jet-powered experimental airplane scheduled to take place in 2005.

Orbital's L-1011 is a uniquely capable aircraft that has served as an airborne launch platform for operational launch vehicles and onboard flight experiments for several different aerospace programs. The aircraft, dubbed "Stargazer" by the company, has been used to launch 25 out of the 31 missions completed by Orbital's Pegasus(R) space launch vehicle. The aircraft was also modified to accommodate NASA's X-34 reusable launch vehicle and completed two captive carry flights of the experimental rocket plane.

Orbital is one of the world's leading developers and manufacturers of affordable space systems for commercial, civil government and military customers. The company's primary products include low-orbit, geosynchronous and planetary spacecraft for communications, scientific and remote sensing missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense boosters that are used as target and interceptor vehicles. Orbital also offers space-related technical services to government agencies and develops and builds satellite-based transportation management systems for public transit and public works agencies, as well as private vehicle fleet operators.

    More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com
CONTACT: Barron Beneski, Public and Investor Relations of Orbital Sciences Corporation, +1-703-406-5528 or Beneski.barron@orbital.com.

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SOURCE Orbital Sciences Corporation

CONTACT:          Barron Beneski, Public and Investor Relations of Orbital
                  Sciences Corporation, +1-703-406-5528 or Beneski.barron@orbital.com

URL:              http://www.prnewswire.com
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