Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB) today announced that it is in final preparations to launch
the Space Technology 5 (ST5) scientific spacecraft for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) aboard the company's Pegasus(R) rocket.
Telesat will launch
its Nimiq 4 satellite in 2008, for its fifth flight with ILS.
Kiyoshi Isozaki, president and CEO of JSAT Corporation, said: "We chose the ILS Proton because it has the demonstrated reliability and launch
tempo that JSAT established as criteria for the JCSAT-11 program.
Air Force requirements for the Evolved Expendable Launch
This successful launch
gives us great confidence that the satellite will meet its performance objectives.
Martin Halliwell, SES ASTRA chief technology officer, said: "This is the first time that SES ASTRA chose an Atlas rocket for the launch
of a new satellite.
On numerous occasions, Orbital has been the provider of a mission's small satellite and small-class space launch
vehicle, as will be the case for the ST8 mission.
If the February launch
occurs, it will come nearly a year after SpaceX's maiden launch
in March 2006 when the Falcon 1 exploded in the air.
Only one more launch
remained before SWAS could hitch a ride on the rocket, and Melnick and his team began to "get out of hibernation," retesting software for their instrument.
While the United States has made accidental nuclear strikes more and more difficult by complicating the launch
sequence, Russia has delegated that authority among various competing political forces and invested its safety in a beyond-the-grave automatic firing mechanism.
The QuickReach rocket would be carried aloft by an airplane to its launch
area, then dropped to fire its rocket motor and fly into space carrying a satellite.
And this year, NASA, having been roundly criticized during the Challenger aftermath for consciously leaving itself no choice but to launch
all its eggs in one basket, came to the same decision.