Orbital Sciences Corporation today announced a major new company initiative to provide
businesses with electronic access to essential land information for real
estate transactions in the United States, Canada and other locations.
the last two years, Orbital’s MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA)
subsidiary, based in Vancouver, Canada, has invested in internal systems
development, strategic acquisitions and joint ventures to create a fast-
growing e-commerce unit serving major business customers in the real estate
financial, insurance and legal sectors.

MDA’s e-commerce unit provides one of the most complete online access
services for textual and visual real estate property information available
today in North America.
Used in residential and commercial real estate and
related property transactions, this type of information includes land
title/ownership and encumbrances; asset valuation and taxation; imagery, maps
and other geographic information; and local-area demographic data.
example, MDA currently operates an online database of property and asset
valuation information covering over 800 U.S. counties in 46 states,
representing nearly 75% of the American population.
In addition, through
satellite and aerial image collection, processing and distribution, this
business unit offers an integrated digital archive of visual land information,
such as up-to-date imagery, maps, lot plans and related data in selected
geographic areas.

Major customers for MDA’s e-commerce unit already include many of North
America’s top primary and secondary mortgage lenders, title and property
insurance companies, land appraisers and real estate professionals, as well as
numerous city, county, state and national government agencies.
MDA’s e-
commerce unit has grown rapidly since its creation in 1998.
This business had
about $45 million in revenues in 1999, and is targeting substantial additional
revenue growth this year.
It currently employs over 400 people at MDA
facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

This initiative is also expected to serve as an important “cyber-outlet”
for the high-resolution satellite imagery of the Earth from Orbital’s ORBIMAGE
ORBIMAGE is planning to launch a pair of one-meter resolution
digital imaging satellites, OrbView-3 and -4, within the next year.
with MDA’s Radarsat International Inc.’s Radarsat-1 (currently operational)
and Radarsat-2 (to be launched in 2002) satellites, OrbView-3 and -4 will
offer a wide variety of optical and radar satellite imagery to businesses,
governments and consumers.

During the 1980s and 1990s, MDA’s traditional strengths in developing
large, integrated computer systems for collecting, processing and archiving
space-based remote imaging data established the company as the market leader
in commercial and civil government imaging satellite ground stations and
related image production and database capabilities.
Now, as part of the
Orbital family, MDA is applying space and airborne imaging technologies and
digital infrastructure know-how to revolutionize land data sourcing, storage
and delivery, taking advantage of two technological changes with far-reaching

Information Collection.
Visual land information, previously acquired by
film-based aerial photographic methods, is today increasingly being collected
by high-resolution satellites and aircraft using digital sensors.
collected and developed in the digital domain lends itself to processing,
storage and extraction by computer-aided systems, reducing operating costs and
decreasing production times.

Information Storage and Delivery.
Moving beyond physical archives that
involve laborious manual filing and retrieval methods, visual as well as
textual land information is transitioning to digital storage technologies.
These technologies will improve access speeds and accuracy and reduce labor
In addition, as traditional mail, facsimile and over-the-counter
delivery give way to direct internet distribution, data delivery costs and
time will fall even more.

Capitalizing on these two technology trends, MDA’s new e-commerce services
for the B2B real estate market include the following specific elements:

  • Satellite and aircraft mapping and high-resolution imagery, collected
    and processed internally by MDA’s Triathlon digital aerial mapping group
    (www.triathloninc.com) and its Radarsat International satellite imaging
    subsidiary (www.rsi.ca), as well as in partnership with Orbital’s ORBIMAGE
    affiliate (www.orbimage.com)

  • Real-time legal, ownership and encumbrances information, critical to
    accelerating the mortgage and home equity loan approval process, which is
    being rolled out in selected U.S. markets later this year by MDA in a joint
    venture with a major industry partner

  • Proprietary asset, valuation and taxation data covering over 80% of the
    U.S. metropolitan population and accessible over the internet, provided by
    MDA’s recently acquired DataQuick subsidiary (www.dataquick.com)

  • Electronic access to extensive government land-related databases, such
    as the MDA-operated “BC OnLine” system that collects and delivers asset
    information, valuation and property tax data required to support land purchase
    transactions in British Columbia (www.keyinfobc.com).

  • A one-stop internet storefront at MDA’s Cartica.com site
    (www.cartica.com), with a broad selection of digital maps, images and
    supporting information layers, addressing the full spectrum of geographic
    information needs of business, government and consumer end-users in North

Mr. Daniel E. Friedmann, MDA President and Chief Executive Officer, said,
“Our long-term objective for MDA’s e-commerce business is to electronically
provide everything a customer needs to know about a parcel of land, on a
business-to-business basis, almost anywhere in the world. Using our advanced
data collection technologies and turnkey digital infrastructure, we aim to
offer internet access to a full spectrum of vital property information, from
basic legal ownership and tax information to visual and physical
characteristics and neighborhood demographics.”

MDA’s e-commerce business is targeting continued rapid growth, driven by
the new technologies MDA is introducing for data collection, storage and
delivery, along with geographic expansion of existing services as well as the
addition of new service levels.
Analysts estimate that, within the next five
to ten years, increased demand for electronically-provided land information
services in the developed world will represent a multi-billion dollar-per-year
market opportunity for the company.

Based in Vancouver and with major operations in Toronto and California,
MDA was acquired by Orbital in 1995.
In addition to its e-commerce business,
MDA provides end-to-end spatial information systems and advanced robotics
It has developed, built or upgraded more than 40 imaging
satellite ground stations in over 20 countries.
It also designs, manufactures
and supports space robotics used on the NASA Space Shuttle and International
Space Station, including the pioneering “Canadarm” that has been used on 53
Shuttle missions for satellite deployments, in-orbit assembly and repair
operations and astronaut space walks.

Orbital is one of the largest space technology and satellite services
companies in the world, with 1999 total revenues of about $915 million.
company, which is headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, employs over 5,500 people
at major facilities in the United States, Canada and several overseas
Orbital is the world’s leading manufacturer of low-cost space
systems, including satellites, launch vehicles, electronics and sensors,
satellite ground systems and related digital infrastructure.
Its Magellan
subsidiary is a pioneer in satellite-based navigation and communications
products for consumer and industrial markets.
Through its ORBCOMM and
ORBIMAGE affiliates and ORBNAV subsidiary, Orbital is also a major operator of
satellite-based networks that provide data communications, high-resolution
imagery and automotive information services to customers all around the world.

Note: “Safe Harbor” Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995.
Certain “forward-looking statements” contained in this
release involve unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual
results, performance or achievements of the company to be materially different
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such forward-looking statements.
In particular, statements containing
objectives, goals, targets and expectations are not projections of future

In addition, factors such as general economic and business conditions,
market demand, product performance, market acceptance of products, services
and technologies and consumer demand, may impact the company’s revenues,
expenses and profit from period to period.
These factors and others related
to the company’s business are described in further detail in the company’s
Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange

To learn more about Orbital and its MDA subsidiary, please visit
web sites at www.orbital.com and www.mda.ca