Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that the company-built BSAT-2a geosynchronous (GEO) communications satellite was successfully launched on March 8 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff of the Arianespace S.A. launch vehicle
at approximately 5:51p.m.(EST) and the BSAT-2a satellite was deployed into
transfer orbit about a half-hour later. The satellite will be placed into
geosynchronous orbit and moved to its 110 degrees East longitude operational
location over the next few weeks. The satellite is expected to begin to
service by the end of April following normal in-orbit checkout procedures.
Initial communications with the satellite indicate that all systems are
operating precisely as planned in the early stages of the mission.

The BSAT-2a satellite was built by Orbital for Japan’s Broadcasting
System Corporation (B-SAT) as the first of a pair of direct-to-home digital
television broadcasting platforms. The BSAT-2b satellite, scheduled for
later this year, will serve as an in-orbit backup. The BSAT-2 satellites
carry a high-power Ku-band communications payload supplied by Loral Space
Communications, Ltd. They are expected to operate over a 10-year period.

Orbital is conducting initial mission operations from its satellite control
center at the company’s Dulles, Virginia headquarters. Following the
of all checkout procedures, command and control of the satellites will be
transitioned to two fully redundant ground stations in Japan, where Orbital
employees will be on site to provide assistance through early 2002.

“We are very pleased that the first stages of the BSAT-2 mission have
so well,” said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer. “We look forward to fully implementing this innovative system, one
that allows B-SAT to provide enhanced television broadcast services in an
affordable, reliable manner.”

Orbital plans to deliver a third GEO communications satellite late this year
another Japanese customer, NTT DoCoMo. In a partnership with Lockheed
Corporation, the prime contractor for the N-STAR c satellite program,
Orbital is
providing the spacecraft platform, performing integration of the payload
the satellite bus, conducting pre-and post-shipment testing and arranging
launch services aboard an Ariane rocket.

The BSAT-2 and N-STAR c satellites are based on Orbital’s “STAR” family of
lightweight GEO satellite platforms, which are able to accommodate most
types of
commercial communications payloads. The STAR design is an attractive
alternative to the larger GEO satellites offered by the industry’s
suppliers. The smaller STAR satellites are significantly less costly to
and launch, an ideal fit for customers in the early stages of building their
businesses or established companies that wish to add incremental capacity to
their networks.

Orbital is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of low-cost space
including satellites, launch vehicles, space sensors and satellite ground
systems. Its Magellan subsidiary offers the industry’s broadest line of
GPS-enabled navigation and positioning products for consumer and industrial
markets. Through its relationships with ORBCOMM, ORBIMAGE and ORBNAV,
is also involved with satellite-based networks that provide data
high-resolution imagery and automotive information services to customers
the world.

More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com