Orbital Sciences Corporation Gets US Air Force Pact Worth $32M
Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world's leading space technology companies, today announced that the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate has awarded the company a $32 million contract to develop an experimental maneuverable spacecraft platform that will be capable of hosting multiple payloads and operating in low- and geosynchronous orbit. The five-year contract began in the third quarter of 2012.
The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Adapter (ESPA) Augmented Geostationary Laboratory Experiment (EAGLE) is AFRL's newest space flight program. It will consist of an ESPA-based spacecraft bus (EAGLE Platform) and a suite of payload experiments. Capable of launching aboard any EELV variant, the EAGLE Platform will use a six-port standard ESPA ring as part of its structure, thereby improving launch access to geosynchronous orbit, as well as providing a cost-effective modular platform that could be used for geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) or enabling payload hosting for low-orbit operations. Orbital expects its EAGLE platform design will be capable of hosting up to six payloads for a period of at least one year in geosynchronous orbit. The EAGLE Platform may also carry significant quantities of propellant, depending on the eventual launch vehicle selection and orbit maneuverability requirements.
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