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Orbital Sciences Successfully Launches NASA/Canadian Space Agency Satellite

By | August 13, 2003

      Dulles, Va.-based Orbital Sciences [NYSE: ORB] used its Pegasus rocket to launch a scientific satellite, SCISAT-1, for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Canadian Space Agency.

      Yesterday’s mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., carried the 330-pound SCISAT-1 spacecraft into its targeted orbit approximately 400 miles above the Earth at an inclination of 73.9 degrees to the equator. The powered flight sequence for the SCISAT-1 mission took about 11 minutes, beginning from the time the Pegasus rocket was released from its L-1011 carrier aircraft at approximately 10:10 p.m. EDT to when the satellite was deployed into orbit. The mission was the 35th for the Pegasus rocket and its 21st consecutive successful launch.

      Pegasus is a launch system for deploying small satellites into low-Earth orbit. Its patented air-launch system, in which the rocket is launched from beneath Orbital’s Stargazer L-1011 carrier aircraft over the ocean, reduces cost and provides customers with flexibility to operate from virtually anywhere on Earth with minimal ground support requirements.

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