Orbital wins contracts worth $43 million

Orbital Sciences Corporation has been awarded contracts totalling $43 million to provide engineering support services for NASA and support services for a Japanese experimental supersonic flight test program.

Orbital Sciences Corporation has been awarded contracts totalling $43 million for engineering support services for NASA and support services for a Japanese experimental supersonic flight test program.

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd of Japan has awarded Orbital a contract valued at up to $21 million to provide launch support services for an experimental supersonic flight test program that is being sponsored by Japan’s National Aerospace Laboratory.

Under the contract, which is subject to annual budget reauthorisation, Orbital will utilise its ‘Stargazer’ L-1011 to carry a small-scale, unmanned supersonic aeroplane to a preplanned altitude and location, where it will be released to commence its autonomous flight.

The ground activities and flight tests will originate from Woomera Airfield, Australia, with the first flight of the jet-powered experimental airplane scheduled to take place in 2005.

Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Technical Services Division has been awarded a two-year $22 million cost reimbursable contract from Lockheed Martin Corporation for engineering support services for NASA’s upcoming Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing mission.

Under the contract, which Orbital will carry out at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre and Kennedy Space Centre, the company will develop payload integration hardware for the Space Shuttle and provide engineering support for actual mission operations.

For the upcoming HST servicing mission, Orbital is developing a new lightweight composite carrier unit to maximise the payload capacity of the Shuttle, increasing the amount of hardware that can be installed into the space-based telescope.