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Orbital Sciences Corp. Message Board

  • MBrook_puyallup MBrook_puyallup Dec 7, 1997 12:21 AM Flag

    ORBI Share price

    The reason this stock is underperforming is earnings. These guys have demonstrated they can launch satellites, and sign contracts. Now they need to demonstrate rapidly accelerating earnings growth or this thing is going nowhere.

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    • TRW built STEP-4 not CTA! It didn't fail over White Sands - it failed right after spaceraft seperation from the Pegasus. Pegasus put it in a perfect orbit.

    • STEP 4 - another DSI/CTA design. The NRO may be shooting these things down? Seems they all fail over White Sands where the MIRACL is. Is that what happened to EarlyBird, too?

    • Not bad for an internet surfer. you got 2 1/2 out of 3 right. the STEP-4 (TRW built) failed right from the start. TRW seems to be having some trouble has well - so go bash them!
      El Nino - I guess you know all there is to know about that too?

    • We must all keep in mine that most launches are insured so to say that MOT will replace Iridium sat's at no cost may or may not be the total story. The only program that I know of that goes it sans insurance is Globalstar. If you want to worry about one of these programs that one may be it. Their schedule is getting compressed by delays in eary launches without pushing back the later ones. They are also planning to launch 12 packs in Russia on Russian boosters.

    • You know I saw some internal TRW documents related to the Lewis failure. They were very upset about it. A lot more than
      folks on this thread. There were some internal claims that this was TRW's first failed satellite - I take it that they meant
      failed to even get to start the mission. They took this real hard and felt like it was blow to their reputation and they were
      taking steps to assure it never happened again. TRW is an old fashioned very expensive provider and I'm not gonna claim you should
      buy their stock; but they do seem to take their product quality seriously. They overrun programs tremendously and get programs
      like OMS cancelled as a result.

    • Well Put!

    • I admit to not knowing of other TRW satellites that failed before starting their mission. The 2 Iridium failures were before getting to mission orbit. Could be some classified stuff.

    • Even with partial credit you 'fail' the quiz. Glad you're not building my satellites!

    • Last time I saw a number for the success on the Delta series of boosters, it was something like 93% -- Pretty damned good. I've not seen a number for Pegasus and Pegasus XL; it's not 93-- but its heading toward that number. It's good for the company and good for my (meager) portfolio.

      I don't expect 100% success from ORBI. Even if it could make its boosters 100% reliable, the cost of doing that sort of engineering, building in that many backups, and running that much pre-flight testing, would make it so expensive for ORBI that they'd never launch a thing.

      The market can't afford 100% perfection, not at $10M/launch, and at least not yet. Lots of other industries can provide that sort of success rate because the market asks for it. Airline passengers expect 100% reliability because, all things being equal, people don't like to get killed. But understand that you pay through the nose for that sort of reliability -- you could probably cut the cost of an airline ticket by 75% if you were happy to, say, crash one time out of a thousand.

      The belief that boosters, in the next... say... 15-20 years... will be anything close to 100% is naive and it doesn't make any business sense, either.

      The cost of an ORBI launch accounts for the cost of failure (net insurance). Everyone who launches anything into space either knows that there is a risk of failure or they are a fool.



    • 1. There were 3 Athena launches. 2 Athena I's and 1 Athena II. The first development Athena failed, the other 2 are right on the money. Athena II's first launch from the cape is sending Prospector to the moon.
      2. TRW's (Another CTA design) Lewis failed after being delivered to perfect orbit by the second Athena.
      3. 2 Iridium satellites failed - one may be due to a tipoff failure from the Delta Deployer that ripped off some thermal
      insulation. Some Iridium satellites may have had some upsets. Motorola is replacing the 2 lost satellites at no cost to the customer.
      Iridium is exceeding expectations with crosslinks being made fore and aft in plane and crossplane. There were some initial
      difficulties with Boeings orbit determination system, but they've been solved and now they can point their antennas as planned. Who would
      believe it? All launches have been successful from all 3 providers. Another 5 go up on Jan 31.
      I guess this surprises you that another company would exceed expectations? Let's hope you do a good job on the GFO launch. We need to continue to get good data El Nino sea height data since the earth's tilt is straightening out and the sun is spending more time over the smaller tropics.

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