Orbital Imaging Corporation (ORBIMAGE) announced that its OrbView-3 high-resolution imaging satellite is scheduled for launch this Thursday, June 26, 2003 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. OrbView-3 will be launched on a Pegasus rocket provided by Orbital Sciences Corporation. Subject to acceptable weather conditions at Vandenberg Air Force Base, the launch window on Thursday extends from 2:50 p.m. to 3:05 p.m. (EDT). Live mission updates will begin at 2:00 p.m. (EDT) on ORBIMAGE’s web site at https://www.orbimage.com.
The OrbView-3 satellite will supply high-resolution optical imagery of the Earth with its onboard camera that will take one-meter resolution panchromatic (black-and-white) and four-meter resolution multispectral (color) images of the entire planet. The satellite, in its final 470 km circular orbit inclined at 97° to the equator, will have a revisit time of three days or less, enabling ORBIMAGE to continually update its imagery archive. From its control center in Dulles, Virginia ORBIMAGE will provide full telemetry, tracking and tasking of the OrbView-3 satellite based on orders received from its customers and international distributor partners.
On launch day, the Pegasus rocket will be prepared for its mission during a series of pre-launch readiness checks. Following a final launch decision, the rocket will be carried aloft beneath Orbital’s “Stargazer” L-1011 carrier aircraft to approximately 39,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean, where it will then be released into a free fall for 5 seconds before the first stage rocket motor ignites. Approximately 10 minutes after the rocket ignition, the OrbView-3 satellite will separate from the rocket’s third stage and be placed into its intended orbit.