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October 10, 2012

ORBCOMM Launches Prototype OG2 Satellite

By Meenakshi Shankar, TMCnet Contributor

ORBCOMM (News - Alert) is driving two-way Machine-to-Machine (M2M) revolution with ubiquitous coverage; reliable performance and cost-effective solutions. The company announced the launch of first prototype of its second generation of satellites (OG2) on the Cargo Re-Supply Services (CRS-1) mission aboard the SpaceX (News - Alert) Falcon 9 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral, FL.

ORBCOMM’s OG2 satellites are noted to have advanced communications technologies and are significantly larger. The network is purpose-built for M2M applications, making ORBCOMM the preferred choice in satellite communications. OG2 offers increased throughput, faster data transmission speed and advanced technology, ensuring critical communications are more efficient, reliable and globally available than ever before.

The OG2 prototype satellite, flying as a secondary payload on this mission, was separated from the Falcon 9 launch vehicle at approximately 9:00 pm EST. However, due to an anomaly on one of the Falcon 9’s first stage engines, the rocket did not comply with a pre-planned International Space Station (ISS) safety gate to allow it to execute the second burn. For this reason, the OG2 prototype satellite was deployed into an orbit that was lower than intended. ORBCOMM and Sierra Nevada Corporation engineers have been in contact with the satellite and are working to determine if and the extent to which the orbit can be raised to an operational orbit using the satellite’s on-board propulsion system.

ORBCOMM also unveiled its plans to launch an additional eight OG2 satellites on a Falcon 9, in mid-2013 which will be placed into orbits that are optimized to deliver the best coverage for the enhanced OG2 messaging services. The remainder of the constellation of 18 OG2 satellites is expected to be launched on a Falcon 9 in 2014. Company also indicated that its OG2 satellites will be the primary payload on both of these two planned launches to directly insert the OG2 satellites into the operational orbit.

In another release, TMCnet reported that ORBCOMM's StarTrak will provide refrigerated transportation solutions with software from TMW Systems.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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