(Dulles, VA 20 April 2010) -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today expressed its strong support for President Barack Obama’s new direction for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as articulated in a major space policy address the President gave last week at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Under a new five-year program for the 2011-2015 period, NASA will stimulate the development of advanced launch vehicle and spacecraft technologies for deep-space human voyages; dispatch precursor robotic probes to the moon, Mars, asteroids and other destinations throughout the inner solar system; accelerate Earth science, climate monitoring and environmental sensing satellite missions; and enter into innovative new partnerships with U.S. industry to design, build and demonstrate the first-ever commercial astronaut transportation systems for low-Earth orbit missions.
Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, applauded the Obama Administration’s bolder, more aggressive goals and increased funding for NASA, stating, “The President’s new course for NASA will maintain America’s leadership in space while also strongly contributing to our country’s economic well-being and high-tech employment growth.” Mr. Thompson added, “As I noted when the President’s new plan was first outlined in February, the Obama Administration ‘hit the ball out of the park in its first time at bat’ in setting this new direction for NASA.”
The company cited several aspects of NASA’s proposed new direction that it believes are particularly favorable:
• Extension of U.S. participation in the International Space Station (ISS) program until at least 2020, with a more intensive program of scientific research and utilization to be carried out at the multi-national orbital facility;
• Strengthening of NASA’s current initiatives in commercial cargo delivery to the ISS, together with exciting new partnerships with private industry to develop and operate commercial astronaut transportation systems for low-orbit missions;
• Increased funding for Earth and space science programs, with special emphasis on accelerated and expanded climate change research missions; and
• Enhanced R&D investments by the space agency in new launch vehicle propulsion and in-space operations technologies and related robotic precursor missions to the Moon, Mars, asteroids and other deep-space destinations.
“As a pioneering commercial partner to NASA for over 25 years, Orbital is very excited about this new course for America’s civil space program. We believe it should be warmly embraced by Congressional representatives who want the U.S. to remain the world’s leader in space,” Mr. Thompson concluded.
Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories.
More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com
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