NASA selects Orbital for Sounding Rockets scheme

US space agency NASA has selected satellite company Orbital Sciences’s Technical Services Division in Greenbelt, Maryland, for its five-year, $130m (£108m) Sounding Rockets Operations contract.

Orbital Sciences will coordinate and implement NASA’s overall Sounding Rockets programme and provide services and supplies as necessary to complete individual missions and projects.

Services include designing, fabricating, integrating and performing flight-qualification testing of sub-orbital payloads; providing launch vehicles and associated hardware; and conducting various activities associated with subsequent mission launch operations.

Additional services to be provided under the contract may also include special engineering and technical support, education and outreach activities, plus environmental studies.