Orbital Sciences Prometheus Spacecraft

Orbital was founded and incorporated in 1982 by three friends who had met earlier while at Harvard Business School—David W. Thompson, Bruce W. Ferguson and Scott L. Webster. Initial capitalization for Orbital was provided by Fred C Alcorn, a Texas oilman and Sam Dunnam, a Texas businessman in September 1982. In 1985, Orbital procured its first contract for providing up to four Transfer Orbital Stage (TOS) vehicles to NASA. In 1987, the seeds for the ORBCOMM constellation were planted when Orbital began investigating a system using low Earth orbit satellites to collect data from remote locations. In 1988, Orbital acquired Space Data Corporation in Arizona- one of the world’s leading suppliers of suborbital rockets- thereby broadening its rocket business and manufacturing capabilities. This was followed by the opening of a new facility in Chandler, Arizona in 1989 to house the company’s expanding rocket business.