Press Release

Ariane Launch of Orbital-built BSAT-2B Geostationary Satellite Does Not Achieve Intended Orbit

By SpaceRef Editor
July 13, 2001
Filed under , ,

Reliable Communications Established with Satellite; All Spacecraft
Subsystems Operating Properly

Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB)
announced
today that the Ariane 5 rocket that launched the company-built BSAT-2b
geostationary communications satellite yesterday evening did not achieve the
mission’s intended orbit.

The initial data from the launch indicates that the satellite was placed
into an
orbit with an apogee of 17,528 kilometers and a perigee of 592 kilometers,
inclined at 2.9 degrees, which will not allow the spacecraft to complete its
mission. The targeted orbit for the mission was an apogee of 35,853
kilometers
and a perigee of 858 kilometers, inclined at 2.0 degrees. Arianespace has
already begun a thorough analysis of the flight data to determine the cause
of
the performance shortfall.

The BSAT-2b satellite is the second of a pair of direct-to-home digital
television broadcasting platforms built by Orbital for Japan’s Broadcasting
Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT). The first satellite, BSAT-2a, is
currently in service, providing reliable broadcasting service throughout
Japan
following its successful launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket in March 2001.
BSAT-2b is intended to serve as an in-orbit back-up for BSAT-2a.

Orbital develops and manufactures affordable space systems, including
satellites, launch vehicles, sensors and electronics, and advanced systems.
Orbital is also involved with satellite-based networks that provide wireless
data communications and high-resolution Earth imagery to customers all
around
the world.

More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com

SpaceRef staff editor.