1 July 2014
Orbital Sciences Corp. (NYSE: ORB) said it is in final preparations for the launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite.
Orbital designed, built and tested the carbon dioxide-measuring spacecraft at its satellite manufacturing facility in Gilbert, AZ for NASA´s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Following its deployment, the OCO-2 satellite will undergo several weeks of in-orbit testing to verify that all major subsystems are operating as planned. Once testing is complete, the spacecraft will be commanded to maneuver into a 438-mile altitude, near-polar orbit with five other scientific satellites as part of the Afternoon (A-Train) Constellation. This international constellation of Earth-observing satellites circles the globe once every 98 minutes in a Sun-synchronous orbit that crosses the equator near 1: 30 p.m. local time and repeats the same ground track every 16 days. OCO-2 will be inserted at the head of the A-Train.
Orbital will perform the day-to-day mission operations of OCO-2 for JPL from the company´s Mission Operations Center in Dulles, VA. OCO-2 is a 990-pound (449-kilogram) observatory with single-axis articulated arrays and three-axis attitude control to ensure high precision in positioning. It is designed to operate for at least two years.
Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. Its website is at http://www.orbital.com.