Orbital Selected As Prime Contractor for NASA Small Rocket Program
[Satellite TODAY 08-02-10] Orbital Sciences has been selected by NASA as the prime contractor under the Sounding Rocket Operations Contract 2 (NSROC 2) program, the company announced July 30.
The 2 contract carries a maximum total value of $310 million over a five-year term, with a current expected value of at least $125 million. Orbital’s technical services division will be responsible for planning, coordinating and carrying out sounding rocket missions from locations in the United States and around the world.
To support the program, Orbital is developing a launch site project with NASA and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport to prepare the Wallops, Va., flight facility to accommodate final assembly and launch operations for the company’s Taurus 2 medium-class space launch vehicle and Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft for missions to the International Space Station. Initial launches are scheduled to begin in 2011.
Sounding rockets are smaller-sized launch vehicles that conduct suborbital missions for high-altitude scientific and atmospheric research. Orbital served as a contract partner on NASA’s NSROC 1 team from 1999 to 2009.