Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today introduced its GEOStar-3 TM satellite platform, stating the program is now ready for delivery to commercial satellite operators on production schedules of 24 to 27 months. The medium-class GEOStar-3 platform is an extension of Orbital’s highly successful small-class GEOStar-2 bus that has led its market niche for the past decade. This evolutionary technology upgrade represents an incremental expansion of the company’s flight-proven, low-risk product line, based on a standard platform with configure-to-order payload flexibility to maximize customer value for fixed satellite services (FSS), direct to home (DTH) and high throughput satellite (HTS) applications.
“The enhanced capacity, flexibility and scalability of the GEOStar-3 platform enables us to address the requirements of the medium-size satellite market, offering customers more payload power, higher throughput and better overall value,” said Mr. Christopher Richmond, Orbital’s Senior Vice President of its Communications Satellite business unit. “This product expands Orbital’s addressable market, while improving our reliability and delivery schedules to customers around the world, including the high-growth, high-throughput satellite segment.”
The GEOStar-3 platform incorporates key enhancements that evolved from the GEOStar-2 bus, including an upgraded electrical power system that boosts payload power capability from 5 kilowatts up to 8 kilowatts and a physically larger bus allowing the vehicle to support communications payloads weighing up to 800 kilograms.
The company is currently under contract to deliver the first GEOStar-3 in early 2016 and is in active negotiations with several other customers for additional orders, including for its new hybrid electric propulsion (EP) platform option. The hybrid GEOStar-3 design uses traditional chemical propulsion to reach orbit in a matter of days, not months like a full EP satellite, and then performs station-keeping operations for 15 years or more with EP, resulting in an optimum mass-efficient system.