Orbital Sciences Corporation was founded in 1982 by three young guys just out of business school with little experience, no money, a taste for adventure and an obvious lack of common sense. They and the daredevils that joined them made a foolish, long-odds bet consistent with Bob Dylan’s lyric, “When you ain’t got nothin, you’ve got nothin to lose,”
Nevertheless, Orbital grew to become a pioneer of the commercial space age: The company’s initial product, the Transfer Orbit Stage was the first space system funded by a Wall Street financial offering. Pegasus was the world’s first commercially developed launch vehicle to reach orbit. Orbital’s subsidiaries, ORBCOMM and ORBIMAGE, pioneered the use of small, low-earth-orbit satellites for data communications and remote sensing. Orbital’s Antares launcher and Cygnus autonomous cargo vehicle deliver supplies to the Space Station on a routine basis. Its Ground-Based Missile Defense boosters are locked and loaded to swat down anything North Korea launches this direction.