Orbital Sciences Corporation announced that earlier
today, it successfully launched the company-built OrbView-3
high-resolution imaging satellite into its targeted orbit aboard the
company’s Pegasus® rocket. The OrbView-3 satellite was accurately
delivered into an initial “parking” orbit and, over the next several
weeks, Orbital engineers will command the satellite to use its onboard
propulsion system to reach its final circular operational orbit of 470
kilometers above the Earth, inclined at 97 degrees to the equator.
Orbital designed, developed, built and tested the 304-kilogram
OrbView-3 satellite for Orbital Imaging Corporation (ORBIMAGE) at the
company’s Dulles, Virginia satellite manufacturing facility.

The powered flight sequence for the OrbView-3 mission took about
10 minutes, from the time the Pegasus rocket was released from its
L-1011 carrier aircraft at approximately 2:55 p.m. (EDT) to the time
that the satellite was deployed into orbit. Preliminary information
indicates that the OrbView-3 satellite is working as planned in the
early stages of its mission.

“We are very pleased with the results of the Pegasus launch and
with the early indications that the OrbView-3 satellite is operating
as expected,” said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer. “We look forward to delivering a highly-capable
satellite that will allow ORBIMAGE to provide its customers with
world-class imagery products.”

Orbital develops and manufactures small space systems for
commercial, civil government and military customers. The company’s
primary products are spacecraft and launch vehicles, including
low-orbit, geostationary and planetary satellites for communications,
remote sensing and scientific missions; ground- and air-launched
rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense
boosters that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital
also offers space-related technical services to government agencies
and develops and builds satellite-based transportation management
systems for public transit agencies and private vehicle fleet