Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that its Orbital Booster Vehicle (OBV), which is the booster rocket for the Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI), was successfully launched as part of a test of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program. Orbital provides the OBV as part of an industry team led by The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The OBV was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA on Saturday, January 26, 2013 as part of the test designated as CTV-01. Following its launch from a silo, the OBV flew downrange over the Pacific Ocean and successfully deployed an Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV).
The test began at 2:00 p.m. (PST) when an OBV ground-based interceptor lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The GBI, which included a modified EKV, measured performance data of the EKV as it operated under conditions designed to stress its design. Data gathered from today’s test will be used to validate the modified EKV design.
Following a preliminary post-flight analysis of the data collected from the mission, MDA and the GMD team confirmed that all primary OBV objectives for CTV-01 were achieved. These included pre-launch built-in test functionality, silo launch and fly out of the OBV, accurate delivery of the EKV and acquisition of telemetry data for further characterization of the OBV’s flight characteristics. Orbital developed the OBV under a multi-year contract from Boeing that began in 2002. The OBV and the EKV make up the GBI, which is assembled by Boeing.
“The CTV-01 test marks the eleventh successful flight of our OBV booster, supporting MDA’s ongoing testing of the GMD system,” said Mr. Ron Grabe, Orbital’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group. “Orbital is extremely proud to be a part of this program that provides the only defensive capability for our homeland against long-range missile attack, and we are particularly proud of the flight test successes achieved by the OBV.”
Orbital’s space launch vehicles, missile defense interceptors and related suborbital rockets are primarily produced at the company’s engineering and manufacturing facility in Chandler, AZ and its vehicle assembly and integration facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA and Huntsville, AL. The company’s launch vehicles are used by commercial and government customers to deliver satellites to low altitude orbits above the Earth and in missile defense systems, both as threat-simulating target vehicles and as interceptor boosters for U.S. national defense systems.
In addition to its launch vehicle systems, Orbital’s other primary products are satellites and related space systems, which are also used by commercial, civil government and military customers. These products include low-orbit, geostationary-orbit and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions. Orbital also provides human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions, as well as satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to government agencies and laboratories.
Source: Orbital Sciences Corp.
Date: Jan 29, 2013