How three Harvard grads formed an aerospace startup in a bedroom and six years later control a $45 million company

FAIRFAX, VA.—David Thompson, Bruce Ferguson, and Scott Webster have boarded a rocket to success. The three young founders of Orbital’ Sciences Corp.—none older than 36—have created an aerospace firm that is playing David to the Goliaths of the rocket industry.

After just six years they already have one viable product—a system for launching satellites from the space shuttle—and several promising ones on the drawing board. Last year, INC. Magazine ranked OSO as one of the 20 fastest-growing high-technology companies in the nation, and the company was NASA’s 20th largest contractor. Ferguson, OSC’s vice president of finance, projects revenues to hit $45 million this year and says the company will be in the black for the third year in a row.

Only a decade ago, the thought of an aerospace scientist...

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