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Orbital Sciences Wins $75 Million NASA Contract

By Rich Smith - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:24PM

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Orbital will design and build the new "TESS" planet-seeking satellite.

NASA has picked rocket-and-satellite maker Orbital Sciences (OA) to build its new Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, Astrophysics Satellite, Orbital announced Wednesday.

Once built and orbited in 2017, TESS will search space for planets orbiting nearby stars, and those planets would then receive extra attention from other NASA space- and ground-based telescopes. Orbital will cooperate with MIT and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center on the $200 million mission.

Orbital's own share of this sum is expected to be worth $75 million, which will be paid to the company over the course of its work on the four-year contract. As such, this single TESS contract stands to account for more than 1% of the company's revenues over the next four years.

Orbital shares were up 1.7% on today's news, and transiting $17.60.

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