2 April 2014
Orbital Sciences Corp. (NYSE: ORB) said that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has awarded the company a contract to launch the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System multi-satellite mission aboard a Pegasus XL rocket carried aloft by Orbital´s “Stargazer” L-1011 aircraft.
The CYGNSS mission is scheduled to launch in October 2016 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
CYGNSS will produce measurements of ocean surface winds throughout the life cycle of tropical storms and hurricanes, which could help lead to better forecasting of severe weather on Earth.
Pegasus is a launch system for the deployment of small satellites into low-Earth orbit. Its patented air-launch system, in which the rocket is launched from beneath Orbital´s “Stargazer” L-1011 carrier aircraft over the ocean, reduces cost and provides customers with unparalleled flexibility to operate from virtually anywhere on Earth with minimal ground support requirements.
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. Its website is at http://www.orbital.com and on Twitter @OrbitalSciences.