Press Release

Orbital’s Pegasus Rocket Successfully Launches NASA/Canadian Space Agency Scientific Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
August 13, 2003
Filed under , ,

SCISAT-1 Mission Was 21st Consecutive Successful Launch for Pegasus

Orbital Sciences
Corporation announced today that its Pegasus® space
launch vehicle successfully launched the Scientific Satellite
(SCISAT-1) Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) spacecraft for the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Canadian
Space Agency. In a mission that took place on Tuesday, August 12, from
Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the 330-pound SCISAT-1
spacecraft was accurately delivered into its targeted orbit
approximately 400 miles above the Earth, inclined at 73.9 degrees to
the equator.

The powered flight sequence for the SCISAT-1 mission took about 11
minutes, from the time the Pegasus rocket was released from its L-1011
carrier aircraft at approximately 10:10 p.m. (EDT) to the time that
the satellite was deployed into orbit. It was the 35th launch of the
Pegasus rocket and its 21st consecutive successful mission.

About Pegasus

Pegasus is the world’s leading launch system for the deployment of
small satellites into low-Earth orbit. Its patented air-launch system,
in which the rocket is launched from beneath Orbital’s “Stargazer”
L-1011 carrier aircraft over the ocean, reduces cost and provides
customers with unparalleled flexibility to operate from virtually
anywhere on Earth with minimal ground support requirements.

Pegasus is the only small launch vehicle to have earned NASA’s
Category 3 certification, which allows the U.S. space agency to launch
its most valuable payloads aboard the rocket. A Category 3
certification is achieved through a long-term record of highly
reliable launch services, such as the current record of 21 consecutive
successful Pegasus missions carried out since 1997.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small space systems for
commercial, civil government and military customers. The company’s
primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including
low-orbit, geostationary and planetary spacecraft for communications,
remote sensing and scientific missions; ground- and air-launched
rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense
boosters that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital
also offers space-related technical services to government agencies
and develops and builds satellite-based transportation management
systems for public transit agencies and private vehicle fleet
operators.

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

Note to Editors:

  • High-resolution photos of the Pegasus rocket are available on
    Orbital’s web site at: http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Images

  • SpaceRef staff editor.