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OrbView-3 Satellite Successfully Reaches Orbit

By | June 27, 2003

      Orbital Imaging Corp.‘s OrbView-3 high-resolution Earth imaging satellite was successfully launched into space Thursday at 3:05 p.m. (EDT) aboard an air-launched Pegasus rocket provided by Orbital Sciences [NYSE: ORB] from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

      The Pegasus rocket was carried aloft attached to Orbital’s “Stargazer” L-1011 aircraft to approximately 39,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean, where it was released horizontally into a free fall for 5 seconds before its first stage motor ignited. Approximately 10 minutes after the rocket ignition at 2:55 p.m. (EDT), the OrbView-3 satellite separated as planned from the Pegasus rocket and was deployed into its sun-synchronous, near-polar, circular orbit. It will take several days to maneuver the satellite into its final orbit at 470 kilometers above the Earth at an inclination of 97.29 degrees.

      For more on Orbimage’s efforts to emerge from bankruptcy, see the June 30 issue of SATELLITE NEWS. For info on subscribing to PBI Media’s satellite newsletters, check out our Web site at

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