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3 Northrop Grumman-built spacecraft continue working long past design lives

22 May 2014

Two scientific spacecraft and a military communications payload produced by Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) are observing major on orbit anniversaries this year as they continue to perform for many additional years beyond their design lives.

Chandra X-ray Observatory space telescope recently spotted the longest object ever seen in the Milky Way Galaxy a jet of high-energy particles 37 light years in length spewing from a runaway pulsar. A spinning neutron star, the pulsar itself was moving as fast as 5m mph.

On July 23, Chandra is expected to reach 15 years on orbit, or three times its five-year design life.

Earth Observing System (EOS) observations helped NASA release its first study to examine how much more air pollution people living in large cities are exposed to compared to those living in less populous areas.

The study, which may be used to formulate air pollution control policies, revealed how pollution-population relationships vary based on what region of the world the city is located.

The US Air Force´s venerable Milstar-1 satellite, carrying a protected communications payload from Northrop Grumman, marked 20 years on orbit Feb. 7, which is twice its ten-year design life.

In the payload´s lifetime, it has provided more than 166,000 hours of service with more than 99 percent availability.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Visit for more information.


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