Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world's leading space
technology companies, today announced that it has signed a commercial
launch contract with Skybox
Imaging to carry six high-resolution imaging and video-capable
spacecraft into low-Earth orbit (LEO) in late 2015 from Vandenberg Air
Force Base, CA. The Skybox spacecraft will be launched aboard the
Minotaur-C space launch vehicle, a commercial variant of the company's
Minotaur product line that serves the U.S. government market. The
mission will be overseen by the same Small-Class Launch Vehicles unit of
the company's Launch Systems Group that has executed 25 consecutive
successful Minotaur launches since 2000. Financial terms of the
agreement were not released.
"We are very pleased to have been selected by Skybox Imaging for this
exciting opportunity," said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital's Chairman
and Chief Executive Officer. "As fellow participants in the expansion of
the commercial space industry, Orbital and Skybox share similar values
of innovation, affordability and reliability, which make this
partnership a perfect fit. We have offered options for additional launch
services to support the development of Skybox's business, an we are
looking forward to the opportunity to forge a long-term, multi-launch
relationship with their team."
The Minotaur-C rocket will use four solid rocket motors supplied by ATK
as its propulsion system, all of which have been flown dozens of times
and thoroughly flight-proven in various combinations on Orbital's other
small space launch vehicles, including Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur, as
well as on the company's Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) long-range missile
defense interceptor. It will also incorporate numerous design features
that are common with the Minotaur product line, such as the rocket's
electrical power system, payload fairing, flight termination system,
navigation sensors and RF components. In addition, the Minotaur-C will
utilize its SkySat satellite dispenser, currently in design by the
Minotaur team, which will be built and tested at the company's Chandler,
AZ launch vehicle design and engineering facility.
Orbital's family of small space launch vehicles provides reliable
"right-sized" launch services that are the industry standard for
boosting small payloads to orbit. From the innovative air-launched
Pegasus to traditional ground-launched rockets like the Minotaur family
of launchers, Orbital's small-class launch vehicles share flight-proven
propulsion, avionics, engineering teams, production and testing
facilities, and management systems to provide low-cost and reliable
access to space.
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.
About Skybox Imaging
Skybox Imaging (Skybox) empowers global businesses to make better
decisions with timely, high fidelity imagery and infinite analytics. By
combining the power of web technologies and a constellation of
high-resolution imaging satellites, Skybox is generating a unique data
source describing daily global activity with timely, accessible,
sub-meter color imagery and high definition video of the Earth. Founded
in 2009, Skybox Imaging is backed by leading venture firms and comprised
of internet and aerospace professionals. For more information, visit www.skybox.com.
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