-- Mission Is 25th Consecutive Successful Launch of Minotaur Product
-- Company-Sponsored TJ3Sat Becomes First
High School Student-Built Satellite to Achieve Earth Orbit --
DULLES, Va.Nov. 19, 2013--
Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB), one of the world s leading space
technology companies, announced that it successfully launched a Minotaur
I rocket in support of the Department of Defense Operationally
Responsive Space Office s ORS-3 mission earlier this evening.
Originating from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, located at NASA s
Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia, this mission marks the 25th
launch for the Minotaur rocket, all of which have been successful, and
the sixth Minotaur vehicle to be launched from the Wallops facility.
At approximately 8:15 p.m. (EST), the rocket s first stage ignited,
beginning its flight into low-Earth orbit. Approximately 12 minutes
after lift-off, the Air Force s Space Test Program Satellite-3
spacecraft was deployed into its intended orbit at an altitude of
approximately 500 km (310 miles). The Minotaur s upper stage then
executed a pre-planned collision avoidance maneuver before starting
deployment of 28 CubeSats sponsored by the ORS office, the U.S. Air
Force Space and Missile Systems Center s Space Test Program, and NASA s
Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) program.
This mission marks the final launch for Minotaur under the initial
Orbital/Suborbital Program-1 and -2 contracts, culminating in the
successful delivery of 74 satellites to orbit and 10 suborbital payloads
to high-altitude trajectories over 25 total missions, said Mr. Ron
Grabe, Orbital s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its
Launch Systems Group. Orbital s team is absolutely focused on offering
the most reliable and cost-effective launch systems to our government
customers for their important space missions. This dedication and
teamwork with the Air Force has resulted in achieving 25 consecutive
successful missions since 2000. We look forward to continuing this
collaboration under the OSP-3 contract in the years ahead.
This launch, which was executed under a Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) license obtained by Orbital through the FAA s Office of Commercial
Space Transportation, demonstrated a commercial-like approach to
government launches in an effort to reduce overall costs. Through this
mission, Orbital also supported the development of new technologies for
launch and range improvements including automated targeting, range
tracking and flight termination systems.
The Minotaur I space launch configuration combines Orbital s commercial
launch vehicle technologies, including upper stage rocket motors,
avionics, structures and other elements, with government-supplied
lower-stage rocket motors to create responsive, reliable and low-cost
launch systems for U.S. Government-sponsored spacecraft. It can place
payloads of up to 600 kg (1,300 lbs.) into low-Earth orbit.
Under the OSP program, which is managed by the Air Force Space and
Missile Systems Center s Space Development and Test Directorate (SMC/SD)
Launch Systems Division (SMC/SDL) located at Kirtland Air Force Base,
New Mexico, Orbital designs, integrates, tests and provides space launch
services with the Minotaur I, IV, V and VI rockets, as well as other
suborbital capabilities with the Minotaur II and III configurations. The
rockets are specifically designed to be capable of launching from all
major U.S. spaceports, including government and commercial launch sites
in Alaska, California, Virginia and Florida. Orbital s use of
standardized avionics and subsystems, mature processes and experienced
personnel make Minotaur rockets both reliable and cost-effective for
U.S. government customers.
About the ORS-3 Mission
The ORS-3 mission, also known as the Enabler Mission, will demonstrate
launch and range improvements to include automated vehicle trajectory
targeting, range safety planning, and flight termination; employ a
commercial-like procurement with FAA licensing of a Minotaur I; and
launch the Air Force s Space Test Program Satellite-3 and 28 CubeSats on
an Integrated Payload Stack. These enablers not only focus on the
ability to execute a rapid call-up mission, they automate engineering
tasks that once took months and reduce those timelines to days or hours,
resulting in decreased mission costs.
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.
Follow the company on Twitter @OrbitalSciences.
Source: Orbital Sciences Corporation
Orbital Sciences Corporation
Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528
and Investor Relations