Orbital Sciences Corporation : ORBITAL-BUILT LANDSAT SATELLITE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED

Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:12pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

For best results when printing this announcement, please click on the link below:

http://pdf.reuters.com/htmlnews/8knews.asp?i=43059c3bf0e37541&u=urn:newsml:reuters.com:20130211:nHUGcWhb


                                                                

ORBITAL-BUILT LANDSAT SATELLITE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED

-- Company's Newest Spacecraft for NASA to Continue Landsat Program's 40-Year History of
Collecting Critical Environmental Data for Earth Science Studies --

-- 145th Orbital Satellite Extends Company's Legacy of Support for Marquee U.S. Environmental
Monitoring Program --

(Dulles, VA 11 February 2013) - Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world's
leading space technology companies, announced that the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM)
satellite was successfully launched into orbit aboard an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force
Base earlier today.  Orbital designed, built and tested the LDCM satellite under a contract from
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) at the company's Gilbert, AZ manufacturing facility.  

Lift-off took place at 10:02 a.m. (PST) and the satellite successfully separated from the rocket's
final stage 78 minutes into the mission, placing it into an initial orbit about 410 miles above
the Earth, from where LDCM will later raise its orbit to a final altitude of 438 miles.  The
mission operations team has confirmed that it is able to command and communicate with the
satellite and that its solar array, which provides electrical power to the two onboard scientific
instruments, is fully deployed and operating as designed.  

NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) share responsibility for the LDCM program. NASA's GSFC
oversaw development of  the flight systems including the LDCM spacecraft and the onboard
instruments, and is responsible for mission operations, launch, and in-orbit checkout.  The USGS
will operate the satellite and the Landsat ground network, image-processing and archive
facilities.  USGS disseminates Landsat data to the worldwide user community free of charge.  This
data is used to positively impact a wide variety of industries including agriculture, geology,
forestry, regional planning, education, mapping, global climate change research, emergency
response and disaster relief.

"It was a smooth launch and deployment for the LDCM satellite earlier today and it is now
performing very well early in its mission," said Mr. Mike Miller, Orbital's Senior Vice President
of Science and Environmental Satellite Programs.  "The LDCM satellite will enable the USGS and
NASA to maintain the longest continuous record of Earth environmental data gathered from space. 
We are honored to have been an integral part of this legendary program that provides critical
Earth observation data that benefits millions of people and a wide variety of industries
worldwide."  

LDCM is the company's 145th satellite to be launched since 1982, including 76 commercial and 69
government spacecraft.  Once its checkout is completed, it will join Landsat 4 and Landsat 5, two
earlier Orbital legacy spacecraft that have supported the Landsat program for three decades.

Over the next several weeks, Orbital's LDCM engineering team will support NASA and USGS with
in-orbit testing of the satellite to verify all systems are operating as planned.  Once LDCM is
fully tested, USGS will operate the spacecraft and collect data from multiple ground stations
worldwide.  

"We are incredibly proud of our dedicated team who designed, built, tested and participated in the
launch of this remarkable observatory," said Daren Iverson, Orbital's LDCM Program Manager.
"Today's launch is the culmination of over five years of precise engineering and high-tech
craftsmanship, along with proven science-gathering technology, coming together to provide a closer
look at our planet.  It has been an extraordinary experience to be part of this program and to
partner with our NASA and USGS customers.  In the future, we hope to continue our critical role in
their mission by building the next generation of Landsat spacecraft."

With an anticipated service life of five years, LDCM is based on the company's flight-proven
LEOStar-3 standard modular spacecraft platform that reduces assembly and test-cycle times.  This
low-Earth orbit "bus" has served as the platform for several other highly successful
NASA-sponsored Earth and space science missions, such as Swift and Fermi. 

About Orbital

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 http://www.orbital.com/ .

# # #

Contact:
Barron Beneski (703) 406-5528
Public and Investor Relations
Orbital Sciences Corporation
Beneski.barron@orbital.com mailto:Beneski.barron@orbital.com 

Notes to editors:

1. A high-resolution photograph of the LDCM satellite in Orbital's Gilbert, AZ. satellite
production facility is available at: http://www.orbital.com/images/High/LCDM_in_space_high.jpg
http://www.orbital.com/images/High/LCDM_in_space_high.jpg 

2. More information about the Landsat program can be found at:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Landsat.html http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Landsat.html 

3. Broadcast quality video can be found at:
 http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/landsat/main/index.html
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/landsat/main/index.html


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients.

The owner of this announcement warrants that:
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the
information contained therein.

Source: Orbital Sciences Corporation via Thomson Reuters ONE


HUG#1677270

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.