Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

Orbital awarded NASA satellite production contract
Posted: Jan. 2, 2000

The Orbital-built FUSE satellite for NASA undergoes final testing before its launch last June. Photo: ORBITAL
Orbital Sciences Corporation has announced that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Space Flight Center has awarded the company a five-year contract for design, production and testing of small- and medium-class satellites used in space science, Earth science and advanced technology missions. The contract, administered by Goddard's Rapid Spacecraft Development Office, allows NASA centers and laboratories, as well as other U.S. Government agencies, to procure a wide range of flight-proven satellites from the company. The contract covers orders made by NASA and other agencies from 2000 to 2004 and has a maximum value of $1.5 billion to Orbital.

Under the Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition contract, NASA can purchase five different types of satellite platforms developed and manufactured by Orbital, including both low-Earth orbit and geosynchronous orbit spacecraft. Each of these satellite types has successful space flight heritage from an extensive history of 85 previous satellite missions carried out by the company in the last 18 years. Due to its flexible ordering structure, the contract will shorten NASA's satellite order-to-delivery cycle to as little as 18 months, permitting it to carry out faster and more effective space missions over the next five years.

"We are delighted to have Goddard's Rapid Spacecraft Development Office qualify five of our satellites under this new contract," said Mr. Robert R. Lovell, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Orbital's Space Systems Group. "We expect this contract to help us maintain or increase our already sizable share of the U.S. Government's small and medium satellite business."

Orbital is one of the largest space technology and satellite services companies in the world, with 1999 revenues targeted to exceed $900 million. The company, which is headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, employs over 5,200 people at its major facilities in the United States, Canada and several overseas locations. Orbital is the world's leading manufacturer of low-cost space systems and products, including satellites, launch vehicles, electronics and sensors, satellite ground systems and software, and satellite-based navigation and communications products. Through its ORBCOMM and ORBIMAGE affiliates and ORBNAV subsidiary, Orbital is also a pioneering operator of satellite-based networks that provide data communications, high-resolution imagery and automotive information services to customers all around the world.

Sign up for Astronomy Now's NewsAlert service and have the latest news in astronomy and space e-mailed directly to your desktop (free of charge).

Your e-mail address: