Orbital Sciences Corporation
announced today it recently was awarded a $700,000 study contract
by the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC) for
Phase I of the Liquid Booster Development Program.
The objective of the
Army’s program is to develop a liquid propellant booster that would serve as a
threat-representative target to test ballistic missile defensive weapon
Orbital was one of five companies selected for Phase I contracts,
which totaled $3.0 million.

Under the six-month Phase I contract, which begins in early 2001, Orbital
will design initial concepts for the Liquid Propellant Booster Target vehicle.
In mid-2001, the Army plans to select from among the Phase I contractors to
award a three-year, Phase II contract.
In this phase, the selected contractor
would design, integrate, manufacture and flight-test a prototype liquid fuel
Following the completion of a successful development program, the
Army may choose to award additional production contracts.

Orbital’s liquid propellant booster concept is based on hydrogen peroxide
propulsion technologies originally developed by the company for the Upper
Stage Flight Experiment (USFE) Program for NASA and the United States Air
The USFE Program was established as a technology demonstration program
with a goal to develop a new low-cost, non-toxic liquid fuel upper stage for
suborbital and space launch systems.
The Liquid Booster Development Program
will be carried out by Orbital’s Launch Systems Group at its engineering and
manufacturing facility in Chandler, Arizona.

“The Liquid Booster Development Program contract award represents an
important milestone in our efforts to expand our ballistic missile target
launch vehicle business,” said Mr. Ronald J. Grabe, Executive Vice President
and General Manager of Orbital’s Launch Systems Group.
“Already, Orbital is a
leader in complementary liquid fuel technology programs, such as the USFE that
we are now developing at NASA’s Stennis facility.”

Mr. Grabe added, “We are also very pleased to be in a position to expand
our long history of working with the Army on ballistic missile target systems,
such as the STORM program and on operational launch services, such as the
Consolidated Theater Target Services (CTTS) contract.”

Orbital is one of the largest space technology and satellite services
companies in the world, with 1999 total enterprise revenues (including
revenues from unconsolidated affiliates) of approximately $915 million.
company, headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, employs about 4,500 people at
major facilities in the United States, Canada and several overseas locations.

Orbital is one of the world’s leading manufacturers 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.
More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com.