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Va.'s Orbital Sciences gets NASA satellite contract

Thursday - 4/25/2013, 3:16am  ET

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.

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