Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that it has signed a systems integration and test contract with Thales Alenia Space, the prime contractor for Iridium NEXT, the next-generation satellite constellation of Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) of McLean, Va.
“We believe that the hosted payload concept will grow significantly in the future as government space programs look for opportunities to carry out their mission in the most cost-effective and time critical manner,” said Michael Hamel, Orbital Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy. “We are already seeing numerous examples of government space program customers taking advantage of the regularity of commercial satellite deployments and their demonstrated high rates of reliability. In a time of tight budgets, we see hosted payloads as great value to the customer community and intend to be at the forefront of the growth trend.”Orbital noted that its headquarters location in Dulles, Va. and its systems group in Gilbert, Ariz. offer an excellent geographic fit with Iridium’s headquarters in McLean, Va. and satellite network operations center (SNOC) in Leesburg, VA., and its gateway in Tempe, Ariz. About Orbital 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. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6588030&lang=en