DULLES, Va., Jul 13, 2001 /PRNewswire/ --

Company-Built QuikTOMS Satellite Also Ready for Shared Launch Aboard Orbital's Taurus Rocket Taurus Launch Scheduled for Mid-August from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA

Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that is has shipped the OrbView-4 high-resolution imaging satellite, which it developed and produced for its Orbital Imaging Corporation (ORBIMAGE) affiliate, from its Germantown, Maryland satellite manufacturing facility to the mission launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California. Orbital also announced that the mission's secondary satellite, the QuikTOMS science spacecraft, which the company built for NASA, has already arrived at VAFB after being shipped late last week. Both satellites will be launched aboard the company's Taurus rocket, which is currently planned for mid-August.

While at VAFB, both satellites will undergo post-shipment tests and will be integrated with the Taurus rocket at Orbital's facilities. A team of Orbital, ORBIMAGE and NASA engineers will then perform a series of pre-launch tests to ensure that all the systems of OrbView-4, QuikTOMS and Taurus are functioning together as planned.

About the OrbView-4 Satellite:

The Orbview-4 satellite that Orbital developed and built for ORBIMAGE will be one of the world's first commercial satellite to provide high-resolution imagery from space. OrbView-4's high-resolution camera will acquire one-meter resolution panchromatic (black and white) and four-meter resolution multispectral (color) imagery. In addition, OrbView-4 will be the world's first commercial satellite to collect hyperspectral imagery. Hyperspectral imagery will be useful for classifying material types on the Earth's surface, a capability that will be beneficial in agricultural management, mineral exploration, environmental monitoring and national security activities.

About the QuikTOMS Satellite:

The QuikTOMS satellite, which Orbital built for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, is based on the company's flight-proven MicroStar spacecraft, on which about 40 in-orbit satellites have been based over the last six years. Originally developed for the ORBCOMM data communications network, the MicroStar design has been readily adapted to missions for NASA, DARPA and several commercial and international customers. The MicroStar platform has provided cost and schedule benefits to the QuikTOMS program through the use of mature designs, automated manufacturing and test equipment, dedicated and experienced personnel, and established vendors.

About the TOMS Sensor:

Orbital's Sensor Systems Division has built five Total Ozone Monitoring System (TOMS) sensors for NASA, including the one that will operate aboard the QuikTOMS satellite. Flown on U.S., Russian and Japanese satellites beginning in the early 1980's, these instruments have enabled the international scientific community to better understand the Earth's ozone layer and the factors that alter atmospheric ozone distribution. The last Orbital-built TOMS sensor, launched aboard a NASA Earth Probe satellite in 1996, is still operating flawlessly, providing not only the most widely used ozone data, but also information on aerosol particles from desert dust storms, forest fires and biomass burning, as well as UV-B radiation, a potential cause of skin cancer, and Earth surface and cloud reflectance, key components of total ozone calculations.

About Orbital:

Orbital develops and manufactures affordable space systems, including satellites, launch vehicles, sensors and electronics, and advanced systems. Orbital is also involved with satellite-based networks that provide wireless data communications and high-resolution Earth imagery to customers all around the world.

    More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com .
CONTACT: Media: Barron Beneski, +1-703-406-5528, or beneski.barron@orbital.com, or Investors: Tim Perrott, +1-703-406-5997, or perrott.tim@orbital.com; both of Orbital Sciences Corporation.

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SOURCE Orbital Sciences Corporation

CONTACT:          Media: Barron Beneski, +1-703-406-5528, or
                  beneski.barron@orbital.com, or Investors: Tim Perrott, +1-703-406-5997, or
                  perrott.tim@orbital.com, both of Orbital Sciences Corporation