DULLES, Va., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that it has signed a contract to construct and launch a geostationary (GEO) communications satellite for Japan's Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT). The BSAT-2c satellite will be the third spacecraft built by Orbital for B-SAT, an affiliate of Japan's NHK and other major private broadcast networks. The BSAT-2c satellite is planned for launch in the first quarter of 2003. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The BSAT-2c satellite design is based on Orbital's "STAR" family of lightweight GEO platforms, which are able to accommodate most types of commercial communications payloads. The flight-proven STAR platforms are an attractive alternative to the larger, more expensive GEO satellites offered by the industry's traditional suppliers. They are smaller and significantly less costly to acquire and launch, a perfect fit for customers in the early stages of building their business or for established customers that wish to add incremental capacity to their networks.

Over the past several months, B-SAT has carefully evaluated its options for a replacement satellite and concluded that Orbital's STAR design would again provide the best solution. The previous two satellites that Orbital built for B-SAT, BSAT-2a and -2b, were also based on the STAR platform. The first satellite, BSAT-2a, launched in March 2001, is currently in orbit, providing reliable broadcasting service throughout Japan.

"The BSAT-2 program highlights our unique GEO satellite capabilities," said Dr. Ali Atia, head of Orbital's communications satellite group. "We look forward to working with B-SAT once again to deliver a system that provides television service in an affordable, reliable manner."

Orbital is currently working on several other high-profile GEO communications programs. The company is part of a Lockheed Martin team to supply Japan's NTT Mobile Communications Network, Inc. (NTT DoCoMo) with the N-STARc satellite and ground system. Orbital has system design responsibility and will provide the spacecraft bus and ground system for N-STARc. Orbital is also building the Galaxy 12 C-band satellite for PanAmSat Corporation, which owns and operates the world's largest private fleet of commercial GEO communications satellites. The PanAmSat contract includes an option for two additional similar spacecraft.

Orbital develops and manufactures affordable space systems, including satellites, launch vehicles and advanced space 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

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SOURCE Orbital Sciences Corporation

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