Satellite win for Orbital

Orbital Sciences Corporation has been awarded $27 million to design, develop and build the next satellite in NASA’s New Millennium Program.

The next satellite in NASA’s New Millennium Program will be designed, developed and built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, under a $27 million contract between Orbital and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. JPL manages the New Millennium Program for NASA.

The Space Technology 8 satellite will validate four advanced technologies in space for possible use in future NASA science missions.

The satellite consists of four payload experiments: a large flexible solar array; a 40-meter (131-foot) deployable boom; high radiation environment electronics; and a spacecraft thermal control device.

The satellite is based on a lightweight, multi-role spacecraft similar to others already in orbit performing communications, Earth and space science missions. It will weigh approximately 144 kilograms (385 pounds).

Orbital Sciences also will provide the mission’s Pegasus launch vehicle under a separate contract with NASA’s KennedySpaceCenter.

The mission is scheduled for launch in 2009.