Titan IV rocket successfully launches from California
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, CA, 17-AUG-00 -- A Lockheed Martin-built Titan IV B rocket successfully launched a classified payload for the U.S. Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) today at 4:45 p.m. PDT. The NRO is the U.S. government agency responsible for reconnaissance satellites. The launch was from Space Launch Complex Four East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. This was the second Titan IV launched successfully this year and the 30th Titan IV launch overall. Ten Titan IVs have been launched from Vandenberg, 20 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. Titan IV, the nation's largest, most powerful expendable launch vehicle, is built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company-Astronautics Operations in Denver, CO. The Titan IV B is capable of boosting payloads weighing 38,800 pounds into low-Earth polar orbit, 47,800 pounds into low-Earth equatorial orbit, or more than 12,700 pounds into geosynchronous orbit.
This was the second Titan IV B launch this year. The earlier launch was May 8, from Cape Canaveral. Another Titan IV B is scheduled to launch a Milstar military communications satellite from Cape Canaveral this fall.
We are proud to have teamed with the Air Force and the NRO in launching this important payload that will contribute directly to our national security, said G. Thomas Marsh, president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company-Astronautics Operations. This marks the 23rd consecutive successful rocket launch for Lockheed Martin's Astronautics Operations over the past 16 months, a record we intend to build on.
Astronautics is under contract to the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, El Segundo, CA, to complete production of a total of 40 Titan IV rockets with launches extending through 2002. As prime contractor and systems integrator, the company provides overall program management, builds the first and second stages and the Centaur upper stage used on some missions and provides launch services. Titan IV is the nation's largest, most powerful expendable launch vehicle and provides the principal access to space for critical national security payloads launched from both coasts.
Other members of the Titan IV contractor team and their responsibilities include: GenCorp Aerojet Propulsion Division, Sacramento, CA, liquid rocket engines; Alliant Techsystems, Magna, UT, solid rocket motor upgrade; The Boeing Company, Huntington Beach, CA, payload fairing; and Honeywell Space Systems, Clearwater, FL, advanced guidance.
Astronautics Operations is one of the operating units of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, CO. Astronautics Operations designs, develops, tests and manufactures a variety of advanced technology systems for space and defense. Chief products include interplanetary spacecraft and other space systems, space launch systems and ground systems.