ORBCOMM Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies have announced plans to carry the first two ORBCOMM next-generation OG2 satellites to orbit on the next Falcon 9 launch in 2011.
Falcon 9 is a two-stage launch vehicle powered by liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) capable of delivering 10,450 kg to low-Earth orbit and 4,540 kg to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
The nine Merlin engines on the first stage generate more than one million pounds of thrust at liftoff and allow the launch vehicle to perform – even with one or two of the engines out of use.
The ORBCOMM OG2 satellites are being manufactured by Sierra Nevada Corp and Boeing’s Argon ST subsidiary. A total of 18 ORBCOMM next-generation OG2 satellites are currently in production. ORBCOMM OG2 satellites will offer enhanced ORBCOMM messaging capabilities, increased capacity, and automatic identification systems (AIS) service.
The planned Falcon 9 launch will place ORBCOMM’s first two OG2 satellites into a 52° inclined 350 by 750 km insertion orbit. The satellites’ onboard propulsion systems will then be used to circulize the orbit at 750 km.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch site is located at Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.