Orbital Selected for $25M Scientific Satellite
Dulles, Va.-based Orbital Sciences [NYSE: ORB] has been awarded the initial phase of a $25 million satellite manufacturing contract from a university team led by Hampton University in Hampton, Va., with the University of Colorado‘s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Colo., managing satellite development. Under the contract, Orbital will complete the design and development, and will manufacture and test the satellite at the company’s Dulles satellite manufacturing facility.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration-sponsored satellite is scheduled to be delivered in 2006 and will be launched aboard Orbital’s Pegasus XL rocket. The satellite’s scientific mission is to focus on the study of polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) that form about 50 miles above the Earth’s surface in the summer months, primarily in the polar regions. The data collected by the spacecraft will provide the basis for a study of PMCs that can be used to study past changes, present trends and the relationship of PMCs to global environmental change.