Orbital Sciences Gets Contract to Search for Exoplanets

Apr 25, 2013

Credit orbital sciences corp logo

DULLES, Va. (AP) - Space technology company Orbital Sciences Corp. has been selected to develop a new astrophysics satellite for NASA under a four-year, $75 million contract.

The Dulles based company says it will design, manufacture and test the satellite that will perform a full-sky search for exoplanets around nearby stars. 

The work is being done as part of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite program. A launch is planned for mid-2017.

Orbital is serving as the industrial partner to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Last week, the company successfully launched a test rocket from Wallops Island on Virginia's Eastern Shore as part of a NASA contract to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.