Orbital Sciences Corporation
|Traded as||NYSE: ORB|
|Founded||Vienna, Virginia, U.S. (1982 )|
|Founder(s)||David W. Thompson
Bruce W. Ferguson
Scott L. Webster
|Headquarters||Dulles, Virginia, United States|
|Key people||David W. Thompson,
Chairman, President and CEO
Garrett E. Pierce,
Vice Chairman and CFO
Antonio L. Elias,
Executive Vice President and CTO
|Products||Space Launch Vehicles, Missile Defense Systems, Satellites and Related Systems, Advanced Space Systems, Space Technical Services|
|Revenue||US$1.37 billion (FY 2013)|
|Operating income||US$113.55 million (FY 2013)|
|Net income||US$68.37 million (FY 2013)|
|Total assets||US$1.28 billion (FY 2013)|
|Total equity||US$795.3 million (FY 2013)|
|Employees||3,300 (February, 2014)|
Launch Systems Group
Technical Services Division
Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC, though commonly referred to as Orbital) is an American company specializing in the manufacturing and launch of satellites. Its Launch Systems Group is heavily involved with missile defense launch systems. Orbital formerly owned ORBIMAGE (now GeoEye) and the Magellan line of GPS receivers, though they have now divested, the latter to Thales. Orbital's NYSE ticker symbol is ORB. It has its headquarters in the Dulles area of unincorporated Loudoun County, Virginia, United States.
Since its inception Orbital Sciences has built 569 launch vehicles with 82 more to be delivered by 2015. 174 satellites have been built by the company since 1982 with 24 more to be delivered by 2015. Orbital has a 40% share of the interceptor market, 55% share of the small communications satellite market, and a 60% share of the small launch vehicles market.[clarification needed]
The company is expanding into the medium-size launch vehicles and satellites market with the development of the Antares rocket and the acquisition of the General Dynamics Advanced Information System Satellite division.[verification needed]
- 1 History
- 2 Business groups
- 3 Primary facility locations
- 4 Orbital products
- 4.1 International Space Station (ISS) resupply
- 4.2 NASA constellation program
- 4.3 Satellite launch vehicles
- 4.4 Experimental vehicles
- 4.5 Missile defense systems and ballistic target vehicles
- 4.6 Imaging and defense satellites
- 4.7 Science and environmental satellites
- 4.8 Geostationary satellites
- 4.9 Planetary probes
- 4.10 Client countries
- 5 Launch sites
- 6 Partnerships
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Orbital was founded in 1982 by David Thompson, Bruce Ferguson and Scott Webster. In 1990, the company successfully carried out eight space missions, highlighted by the initial launch of the Pegasus rocket. In 2006 Orbital conducted its 500th mission since the company’s founding.
In 1997 it spun off its space imaging division Orbital Space Imaging or ORBIMAGE (with Thompson then as chairman). It is now GeoEye.
On March 4, 2010, Orbital Sciences announced it was acquiring General Dynamics Advanced Information System's Satellite division, which was formerly Spectrum Astro. The purchase price was $55 million and the deal was closed on April 2, 2010. Orbital Sciences stated the deal added nearly $70 million in revenue and slightly improved 2010 earnings, and expects the business to add approximately $100 million in revenue in 2011. Approximately 325 employees of the General Dynamics division and the Gilbert, AZ campus of the General Dynamics division were retained.
In 2010, Orbital made a commercial proposal to NASA to develop a lifting-body spaceplane vehicle, about one-quarter the size of the Space Shuttle, in response to NASA's Commercial Crew Development phase 2 solicitation. The Vertical Takeoff, Horizontal Landing (VTHL) vehicle would be launched on a human-rated (upgraded) Atlas V rocket but would land on a runway. The proposed spaceplane would seat four astronauts. NASA expected to make approximately $200 million of phase 2 awards by March 2011, for technology development projects that could last up to 14 months. Failing to be selected for an CCDev phase 2 award by NASA, Orbital announced in April 2011 that they will likely wind down their efforts to develop a commercial crew vehicle.
On April 21, 2013 Orbital Sciences successfully launched a test flight, putting the company on a path to becoming the second commercial entity to transport cargo to the international space station. The 131-foot Antares rocket made its maiden voyage from a recently completed launch complex on Wallops Island, off the Virginia coast. It carried a dummy payload. The blast-off capped a roughly $1 billion investment.
Space Systems Group (SSG)
Orbital is a provider of small- to medium-class satellites. Since the company's founding in 1982, Orbital has delivered over 110 spacecraft to commercial, military and civil customers worldwide. To date, these spacecraft have amassed a total of nearly 630 years of on-orbit operations.
Launch Systems Group (LSG)
Orbital's space launch vehicles primarily focus on boosting small payloads to orbit. The Pegasus rocket is launched from the company's L-1011 carrier aircraft, Stargazer and has proven to be the industry's small space launch workhorse, having conducted 40 missions from six different launch sites worldwide since 1990. The Taurus and Minotaur ground-launched rockets combine Pegasus upper stages with either government-supplied or commercially available first-stage rocket motors to boost larger payloads to orbit. Minotaur IV is the newest addition to Orbital's line of space boosters and combines decommissioned Peacekeeper rocket motors with Orbital avionics and fairings. The Minotaur IV is only available to launch U.S. Government sponsored payloads.
On March 4, 2011 the NASA Glory atmospheric research mission satellite was lost due to a mechanical failure on an Orbital built Taurus XL rocket. This failure follows the earlier loss on February 24, 2009 of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory due to a similar failure on a Taurus XL rocket. The total loss to NASA for these two failures is estimated to be nearly $700 million. Still, NASA has expressed confidence in Orbital as a cargo provider to the International Space Station.
Orbital is also a provider of suborbital launch vehicles for the nation's missile defense systems. In the last 10 years it has conducted nearly 50 launches for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the Air Force, the Army and Navy to develop, test and enhance U.S. missile defense systems.
Advanced Programs Group (APG)
Orbital’s Advanced Programs Group focuses on developing new technologies for human spaceflight, commercial transportation, aeronautical research and space transportation.
In support of human spaceflight, Orbital is developing a new medium-lift rocket, Antares, and a spacecraft, Cygnus spacecraft, which will provide supplies to occupants of the International Space Station. These programs are being developed under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS), for which Orbital was selected as a partner in 2008. The company will provide resupply services to the ISS under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program. Operational flights are scheduled to begin in 2012 from the new Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island in Virginia.
Technical Services Division (TSD)
Orbital provides engineering, production and technical management personnel primarily for space-related science and defense programs. Typically, it supplies specialized personnel — engineers, scientists, technicians and other professionals — with specific knowledge in the areas that the customer is pursuing. The Orbital employees often work with the customers' technical staff at their facilities.
Primary facility locations
- Dulles, Virginia
- Chandler, Arizona
- Orange County, California
- Beltsville, Maryland
- Greenbelt, Maryland
- Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
- Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia
- Gilbert, Arizona
International Space Station (ISS) resupply
- Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Demonstration resupply mission to ISS: debut of Cygnus spacecraft and Antares launch vehicle
- Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) $1.9 Billion NASA contract for 8 Cygnus/Antares resupply missions to the ISS
NASA constellation program
Satellite launch vehicles
- Minotaur Solid-fuel satellite launcher rocket
- Pegasus Winged space booster component of an expandable launch system
- Taurus Four stage, solid-fuel launch vehicle
- OSP-2 Minotaur IV, a satellite launching version of the LG-118A Peacekeeper
- Minotaur V Five stage satellite launching version of the LG-118A Peacekeeper for GTO destinations
- Antares Three stage rocket: kerosene/oxygen, solid-fuel, and hypergolic propellant
- StratoLaunch  Winged space booster component of an expandable launch system
Missile defense systems and ballistic target vehicles
- Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) for the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
- Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI)
- GQM-163A Coyote Supersonic Sea-Skimming Target (SSST)
- Target Test Vehicle (TTV)
- Minotaur II
- Minotaur III
Imaging and defense satellites
- ORBCOMM Fleet
- Landsat 4
- Landsat 5
- Tri-Service-Experiments mission 5 (TSX-5)
- MightySat II.1
- OrbView-4 (launch failure)
- Near Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE)
- Communication/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS)
- Landsat 8
Science and environmental satellites
- Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor Satellite (ACRIMSAT)
- Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE)
- Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX)
- Demonstration for Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART)
- Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM)
- Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope
- Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) (launch failure)
- Space Technology 8 (ST8) (cancelled)
- Glory (launch failure)
- Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR)
- Landsat 8 (LDCM)
- Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO2) (in development/production)
- Gravity and Extreme Magnetism SMEX (GEMS) (in development/production)
- Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2) (in development/production)
- STAR 2 platform
- At its Satellite Manufacturing Facility (SMF) in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital builds medium-sized geosynchronous communication satellites based on the company's STAR 2 platform.
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California
- Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAS) in Florida
- Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in Virginia
- Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska
- Edwards Air Force Base in California
- Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands
- Canary Islands in Spain
- Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Hawaii
- Alliant Techsystems (ATK)
- The Boeing Company
- Lockheed Martin
- Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
- Thales Alenia Space
- Yuzhnoye Design Bureau
- "Orbital Sciences Corporation 2013 Annual Report"
- "Contact Information." Orbital Sciences Corporation. Retrieved on September 25, 2009.
- "Orbital Announces the Closing of its Acquisition of General Dynamics' Satellite Development and Manufacturing Business". April 2, 2010.
- "An Introduction to Orbital Sciences Corporation". Orbital. June 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
- "1980-1989 Milestones". Orbital.com. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
- "1990-1999 Milestones". Orbital.com. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
- Press Release announcement[dead link]
- "Q4 2010 Orbital Sciences Corporation Earnings Conference Call". February 17, 2011.
- "Market Watch announcement". Marketwatch.com. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
- Orbital Proposes Spaceplane for Astronauts, Wall Street Journal, 2010-12-14, accessed 2010-12-15.
- Orbital Submits Proposal for NASA's Commercial Crew Development Program, Orbital Press Release, 2010-12-14, accessed 2010-12-16.
- "NASA Seeks More Proposals On Commercial Crew Development". press release 10-277. NASA. October 25, 2010.
- "Orbital may wind down its commercial crew effort". NewSpace Journal. 2011-04-22. Retrieved 2011-04-25. "CEO Dave Thompson said ... "I don’t, at this time, anticipate that we’ll continue to pursue our own project in that race. We’ll watch it and if an opportunity develops we may reconsider. But at this point, I would not anticipate a lot of activity on our part in the commercial crew market.""
- http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/04/orbital-sciences-launch-2/ Wired
- "Satellites & Space Systems". Orbital. 2008-12-23.
- "Space Launch Vehicles". Orbital. 2008-12-23.
- Harwood, William (2011-03-04). "NASA science satellite lost in $424 million launch failure | The Space Shot - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
- "Space News | FLORIDA TODAY | floridatoday.com". Space.flatoday.net. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
- "Missile Defense Systems". Orbital. 2008-12-23.
- "NASA Selects Companies for Heavy-Lift Vehicle Studies". NASA. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
- "Advanced Space Systems". Orbital. 2008-12-23.
- "Space Technical Services". Orbital. 2008-12-23.
- "SpaceX and Orbital Win Huge CRS Contract from NASA". NASA SpaceFlight. 2008-12-23.
- "Orbital Sciences Replaces SpaceX on Stratolaunch Project". Space.com.