Orbital Sciences Corporation (ticker: ORB, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
ADDING MULTIMEDIA Orbital Awarded Systems Integration Contract by
Thales Alenia Space for Iridium Next Satellites-- Company to Assemble and Test 81 Spacecraft Over Five Years at Its
State-of-the-Art Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Gilbert, Arizona --
DULLES, Va., Jan 27, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world's leading
space technology companies, today announced that it has signed a systems
integration and test contract with Thales Alenia Space, the prime
contractor for Iridium NEXT, the next-generation satellite constellation
of Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) of McLean, Va.
Under the new contract, Orbital will integrate the communications
payloads and platforms of the low-Earth orbit Iridium NEXT satellites
being built by Thales Alenia, and then test the systems at its
manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Ariz.
Michael Larkin, Executive Vice President and General Manager of
Orbital's Space Systems Group, said, "Orbital's extensive experience in
spacecraft assembly, integration and test for customers around the
world, combined with the capacity of our Gilbert operation, made Orbital
a natural fit to serve as the systems integrator for the Iridium NEXT
program in the U.S. Our team is eager to begin this exciting and
long-term program and is committed to providing high-quality services to
"The selection of Orbital is the result of a competitive process to
identify the most efficient approach to meeting the challenging
requirements for the production of a large constellation such as Iridium
NEXT," said Reynald Seznec, president and CEO of Thales Alenia Space.
"Orbital and Thales Alenia have been working together for several years,
establishing a long relationship through multiple successful joint
Iridium CEO Matt Desch said, "We are delighted that Thales Alenia has
selected Orbital as systems integrator, which represents another major
step forward in the development and construction of Iridium NEXT. With
this contract, Orbital becomes part of the most significant commercial
space project in the world. Orbital - like Iridium - is a long-time and
trusted U.S. Government partner, which should advance the objective of
hosting payloads on our new satellites for projects such as Earth
observation, scientific monitoring and space situational awareness.
"We believe that the hosted payload concept will grow significantly in
the future as government space programs look for opportunities to carry
out their mission in the most cost-effective and time critical manner,"
said Michael Hamel, Orbital Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy.
"We are already seeing numerous examples of government space program
customers taking advantage of the regularity of commercial satellite
deployments and their demonstrated high rates of reliability. In a time
of tight budgets, we see hosted payloads as great value to the customer
community and intend to be at the forefront of the growth trend."
Orbital noted that its headquarters location in Dulles, Va. and its
systems group in Gilbert, Ariz. offer an excellent geographic fit with
Iridium's headquarters in McLean, Va. and satellite network operations
center (SNOC) in Leesburg, VA., and its gateway in Tempe, Ariz.
Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and
space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers.
The company's primary products are satellites and launch vehicles,
including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary
exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific
and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar
and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver
satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as
interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite
subsystems and space-related technical services to U.S. Government
agencies and laboratories.
More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com.
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SOURCE: Orbital Sciences Corporation
For More Information:
Orbital Sciences Corporation
Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528
Public and Investor Relations