DULLES, Va., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today it recently was awarded a $700,000 study contract by the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC) for Phase I of the Liquid Booster Development Program. The objective of the Army's program is to develop a liquid propellant booster that would serve as a threat-representative target to test ballistic missile defensive weapon systems. Orbital was one of five companies selected for Phase I contracts, which totaled $3.0 million.

Under the six-month Phase I contract, which begins in early 2001, Orbital will design initial concepts for the Liquid Propellant Booster Target vehicle. In mid-2001, the Army plans to select from among the Phase I contractors to award a three-year, Phase II contract. In this phase, the selected contractor would design, integrate, manufacture and flight-test a prototype liquid fuel booster. Following the completion of a successful development program, the Army may choose to award additional production contracts.

Orbital's liquid propellant booster concept is based on hydrogen peroxide propulsion technologies originally developed by the company for the Upper Stage Flight Experiment (USFE) Program for NASA and the United States Air Force. The USFE Program was established as a technology demonstration program with a goal to develop a new low-cost, non-toxic liquid fuel upper stage for suborbital and space launch systems. The Liquid Booster Development Program will be carried out by Orbital's Launch Systems Group at its engineering and manufacturing facility in Chandler, Arizona.

"The Liquid Booster Development Program contract award represents an important milestone in our efforts to expand our ballistic missile target launch vehicle business," said Mr. Ronald J. Grabe, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Orbital's Launch Systems Group. "Already, Orbital is a leader in complementary liquid fuel technology programs, such as the USFE that we are now developing at NASA's Stennis facility."

Mr. Grabe added, "We are also very pleased to be in a position to expand our long history of working with the Army on ballistic missile target systems, such as the STORM program and on operational launch services, such as the Consolidated Theater Target Services (CTTS) contract."

Orbital is one of the largest space technology and satellite services companies in the world, with 1999 total enterprise revenues (including revenues from unconsolidated affiliates) of approximately $915 million. The company, headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, employs about 4,500 people at major facilities in the United States, Canada and several overseas locations.

Orbital is one of the world's leading manufacturers of low-cost space systems, including satellites, launch vehicles, electronics and sensors, satellite ground systems and related digital infrastructure. Its Magellan subsidiary is a pioneer in satellite-based navigation and communications products for consumer and industrial markets. Through its ORBCOMM and ORBIMAGE affiliates and ORBNAV subsidiary, Orbital is also a major operator of satellite-based networks that provide data communications, high-resolution imagery and automotive information services to customers all around the world. More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com. SOURCE Orbital Sciences Corporation

CONTACT: Media: Barron Beneski, 703-406-5000, or beneski.barron@orbital.com; or Investors: Timothy Perrott, 703-406-5997, or perrott.tim@orbital.com; both of Orbital Sciences Corporation/