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Monday, October 27, 2008

Orbital Sciences Seeks California Engineers for Virginia Launch

Industry assumptions are that the Delta II will fly out its remaining inventory and perhaps not be reactivated. We’re seeking to fill a void with the Taurus II,” says Barron Beneski, a spokesman for Orbital adding, “We tend to run leaner and have a lower cost structure than other companies.” Click Photo for complete view.

Orbital Sciences decided to expand to Orange County “because Southern California is well known for having quality aerospace engineers,” Beneski says. The booster will launch from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island in late 2010 for NASA COTS. More from The Orange County Register.

1 comment:

ellegood said...

Editorial: No Plans for Delta 2 Retirement (Source: Florida Today)
The recent United Launch Alliance (ULA) COSMO-3 launch added to the Delta 2's already impressive success record, one of the best in the world. This mission was the 43rd commercial launch for the Delta 2, which has deployed some of the world's most critical military, civilian and scientific satellites. Despite this success record, there is a mistaken perception the Delta 2 is retiring after launching its current manifest of 12 missions through 2011.

Although the last scheduled Delta 2 NASA mission is GRAIL in 2011, ULA has no plans to "pull the plug" on this reliable workhorse. The Delta 2 future launch rate is projected to reduce from its current six to eight launches a year to one or two annually. While this planned launch rate reduction is in response to a recent dip in customer demand, it doesn't mean ULA is leaving the medium-class market. In fact, our company already has the necessary inventory of unassigned rockets to support our expected launch rate past 2011.

Several new competitors have entered the medium-class launch market of late, touting promises of lower costs and high reliability. ULA welcomes this competition; we too continually strive to reduce costs and increase efficiency in our design center, manufacturing facility, and at the launch sites. We are aggressively marketing our unassigned Delta 2 rockets and have promising future prospects for commercial launches beyond 2011. We like our chances to turn some of these prospects into firm contracts, and we've ensured Delta 2 is well positioned for any upturn in the medium class market. (10/28)