Orbital's OBV rocket launched in missile defense interceptor system test

DULLES, Va., 2 Oct. 2007. Orbital Sciences Corporation's Orbital Boost 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 for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

DULLES, Va., 2 Oct. 2007.Orbital Sciences Corporation's Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV), which is the booster rocket for the Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI), was 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 for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

The OBV was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on September 28 as part of the test designated as Flight Test Ground-based Midcourse Defense-03a (FTG-03a). Following its launch from a silo, the OBV flew downrange over the Pacific Ocean and supported the intercept of a target vehicle that was launched earlier from Alaska.

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 FTG-03a were achieved. These included: pre-launch built-in test functionality, launch, and flyout of the OBV; accurate delivery of the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) payload; and acquisition of telemetry data for further characterization of the OBV's flight characteristics. The OBV and the EKV make up the GBI, assembled by Boeing.

Orbital's GMD boost vehicle is a three-stage rocket based on flight-proven hardware that has flown on missions carried out by the company's Pegasus, Taurus, and Minotaur space launch vehicles. Orbital is developing, manufacturing, and testing interceptor vehicles under a multiyear contract from Boeing.

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, Ariz., and its vehicle assembly and integration facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif.

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