Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world's leading space
technology companies, today announced it is in final preparations for
the launch of the Orbiting
Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite. Orbital designed, built and
tested the carbon dioxide-measuring spacecraft at its satellite
manufacturing facility in Gilbert, AZ for NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory (JPL). NASA's first satellite to make space-based
measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), OCO-2 is scheduled to
launch aboard a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in
California on Tuesday, July 1 at 2:56 a.m. (PDT).
"We want to thank JPL for its confidence in Orbital on this important
mission, which will help scientists understand the sources of carbon
dioxide emissions and the natural process that removes it from the
atmosphere," said Mr. Mike Miller, Orbital's Senior Vice President of
Science and Environmental Satellite Programs. "OCO-2 will ultimately
reveal how increasing CO2 concentraions are driving climate change
around the globe. We are looking forward to a successful launch tomorrow
and are eager to begin in-orbit testing and, later, operating the
satellite for JPL."
Following its deployment, the OCO-2 satellite will undergo several weeks
of in-orbit testing to verify that all major subsystems are operating as
planned. Once testing is complete, the spacecraft will be commanded to
maneuver into a 438-mile altitude, near-polar orbit with five other
scientific satellites as part of the Afternoon (A-Train) Constellation.
This international constellation of Earth-observing satellites circles
the globe once every 98 minutes in a Sun-synchronous orbit that crosses
the equator near 1:30 p.m. local time and repeats the same ground track
every 16 days. OCO-2 will be inserted at the head of the A-Train.
Orbital will perform the day-to-day mission operations of OCO-2 for JPL
from the company's Mission Operations Center in Dulles, VA. OCO-2 is a
990-pound (449-kilogram) observatory with single-axis articulated arrays
and three-axis attitude control to ensure high precision in positioning.
It is designed to operate for at least two years.
Orbital's newest satellite delivery represents the 151st
spacecraft the company has completed for customers in the past 32 years,
spanning the global commercial, civil government and military and
intelligence space systems markets. Of these, 78 have carried out
commercial communications and imaging missions and 73 have supported
government scientific, national security and space exploration missions.
Orbital-built satellites have now amassed approximately 1,100 years of
in-orbit experience, a number that will continue to grow as the company
is scheduled to deploy up to nine spacecraft in 2014 for commercial
communications, space station logistics, scientific research and
national security missions.
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
exploration 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 U.S. Government
agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found
Follow the company on Twitter @OrbitalSciences.
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