Orbital Delivers Five Cargo Transport Containers to NASA for International Space Station; Adaptable Systems Can Carry Up to 2,000 Pounds of Critical ISS Hardware on Space Shuttle Missions.
DULLES, Va. -- Orbital Sciences Corporation Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC, though commonly referred to as Orbital) is a Dulles, Virginia company which specializes in satellite launch and manufacture. Its Launch Systems Group is heavily involved with missile defense launch systems. (NYSE NYSE
See: New York Stock Exchange :ORB) announced today that it has delivered five Cargo Transport Containers (CTCs) to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), civilian agency of the U.S. federal government with the mission of conducting research and developing operational programs in the areas of space exploration, artificial satellites (see satellite, artificial), (NASA NASA: see National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
in full National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Independent U.S. ) for use in conjunction with the resupply of the International Space Station (ISS ISS
See Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). ). Each CTC is a re-configurable container with the capability to accommodate up to five ISS hardware units, known as Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs). The ORUs consist of various spare hardware, such as heat exchangers and electronics control units, which will be stored aboard the ISS and used if original components need to be replaced. Orbital's Technical Services Division, based in Greenbelt, MD, was responsible for carrying out design, manufacturing and testing of the CTC units for NASA.
Orbital performed its work on the CTC program under contract to NASA's ISS Program Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. The company designed, built and tested the five CTCs, as well as 25 ORU adapter kits for the ISS. Each CTC measures about 4 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet and is capable of carrying about 400 pounds of hardware to the ISS. The reusable containers will be delivered to the ISS on future flights of the Space Shuttle. Once aboard the ISS, the CTCs can be stored at various locations on the outside of the Space Station until the ORUs are needed. The CTCs can be opened and their contents retrieved either through robotic methods or by astronauts performing extravehicular operations.
Orbital has been designing, manufacturing, integrating and flying various payload carriers such as the CTCs for NASA for more than 20 years. Several notable projects that the company has successfully completed include the Solar Array Carrier for the first servicing mission of the Hubble Space Telescope Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the first large optical orbiting observatory. Built from 1978 to 1990 at a cost of $1.5 billion, the HST (named for astronomer E. P. Hubble) was expected to provide the clearest view yet obtained of the universe. (HST) and the Airborne Support Equipment Carrier used on the deployment mission of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is an orbital observatory whose mission is to study the Earth’s atmosphere, particularly the protective ozone layer.
The 5900 kg (13,000 lb) satellite was launched during Space Shuttle mission STS-48 in 1991. (UARS UARS Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite
UARS Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome
UARS Unmanned Air Reconnaissance System ). Orbital is currently leading the development of the Super Lightweight Interchangeable Carrier, made of composite materials, which will support the next HST servicing mission.
Orbital develops and manufactures small space and rocket systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company's primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-orbit, geosynchronous and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense 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 offers space-related technical services to government agencies and develops and builds satellite-based transportation management systems for public transit agencies and private vehicle fleet operators. More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com