Orbital Ships Optus D1 Communications Satellite to South American Launch Site
First High-Power STAR™ Spacecraft to be Launched in September for Australian Satellite Opperator
Delivery of 10th Company-Built GEO Satellite in Last Five Years Marks the Beginning of Busy Launch Period Through 2008
(Dulles, VA 22 August 2006) – Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that the company-built Optus D1 geosynchronous (GEO) communications satellite has been delivered to the space launch complex in Kourou, French Guiana, where it is scheduled to be launched aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket in September. The Optus D1 satellite is the first of two high-power satellites that Orbital is building for Optus Networks of Australia. The second satellite, Optus D2, is scheduled for completion and launch in 2007. Both of the Optus satellites are based on Orbital’s new STAR 2.4 platform, which can generate nearly five kilowatts of payload power, making them the most powerful commercial communications satellites that Orbital has produced. The Optus program’s design, manufacturing and testing activities are being carried out at Orbital’s state-of-the-art satellite production facility in Dulles, Virginia.
Over the next several weeks, a team of engineers from Optus, Arianespace and Orbital will work together to integrate the satellite with the launch vehicle and perform an extensive series of tests and inspections to ensure that the combined systems of the satellite and rocket are working properly.
Orbital is one of the leading suppliers of GEO communications satellites, which are based on the STAR family of smaller GEO satellite platforms and are capable of accommodating most types of commercial communications payloads. For many applications, the STAR design is an attractive alternative to the larger, more costly GEO satellites offered by other industry suppliers. STAR satellites are smaller and significantly less expensive to manufacture and launch, making them a perfect fit for customers in the early stages of building their business or for established companies that wish to replace or add capacity to their network.
Customer demand for Orbital’s STAR GEO satellites has been robust over the past several years. In 2005 and early 2006, Orbital received orders for STAR satellites from U.S.-based PanAmSat, the Horizons joint venture between JSAT of Japan and PanAmSat, Telenor of Norway, Measat of Malaysia and SES Americom of the U.S. Including the Optus D1 spacecraft, Orbital is now in varying stages of design, manufacturing and testing of eight commercial GEO satellites that will be launched over the next two years.
Orbital developes and manufactures small rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-orbit, geosynchronous-orbit and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital builds satellite-based transportation management systems for public transit agencies and private vehicle fleet operators.
More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com
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Contact: Barron Beneski, 7034065000, firstname.lastname@example.org
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