PTR Group Celebrates Third Successful Launch of the Year
(Herndon, VA 22 October 2008) – The PTR Group Inc., a leading real-time and embedded technology and engineering services provider, today announced that another satellite that it helped develop, the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), was successfully launched on October 19th, 2008, from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The spacecraft, built by prime contractor Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), was placed into orbit by Orbital’s Pegasus rocket, which was dropped from an L-1011 aircraft over the Pacific Ocean. Following the success of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (formerly GLAST) and the ORBCOMM Coast Guard Demonstration and Quick Launch communication satellites, the PTR Group has now assisted in the development of eight satellites placed into orbit this year.
The IBEX spacecraft is one of NASA’s Small Explorer missions. It uses two large-aperture cameras to “image” high energy atoms radiated from the termination shock at the edge of the solar system. The PTR Group is an embedded systems specialist and supported development of various aspects of the spacecraft’s attitude control, power control, and command and data-handling software. As experts in the area of VxWorks® flight software development, the PTR Group worked closely with Orbital’s software developers to develop, test and integrate this flight software.
“This will be the eighth spacecraft launch that we’ve been involved with this year, and second with a scientific mission,” said Todd Brackett, company President/CEO. “We are pleased to be on the Orbital team and I could not be more proud of our staff. I am certain that our contributions will have a positive impact on the success of this mission.”