LOCKHEED MARTIN'S EAST AND WEST COAST LAUNCH SITES ARE FULL
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL, December 2nd, 2002 -- Five Lockheed Martin-built launch vehicles - three Atlases and two Titans - are in launch facilities on the East and West coasts and are making progress toward planned launch dates over the next five months. All five vehicles are different configurations including the Atlas IIA, Atlas III, Atlas V, Titan IV B and Titan II. "Lockheed MartinÂ¿s rocket `full houseÂ¿ highlights a four-decade span of launch capability from the 1960s-era Titan II still in use to the new Atlas V, which debuted in August and is now approaching its second mission," said G. Thomas Marsh, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company Astronautics Operations president. "This diversity, which represents lift capability from smaller satellites to the largest built, is unprecedented in the space launch industry."
Lockheed Martin shipped three different Atlas vehicles to the Cape Canaveral launch sites within a month, demonstrating the rocket factoryÂ¿s ability to build and deliver multiple product lines in a short span. The Atlas missions are managed by International Launch Services (ILS), a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and two Russian companies.
At Launch Complex 36A, an Atlas IIA stands ready to launch NASAÂ¿s TDRS-J satellite Dec. 4. This will be the 23rd and final Atlas IIA to launch, closing out a run of 100 percent Mission Success for all Atlas II variants going back to 1991.
At Complex 36B an Atlas III booster was mounted on the launch pad Nov. 4, and the Centaur upper stage was stacked atop the booster Nov. 8. This will be the third Atlas III launch, following the two successful missions in May 2000 and February of this year. The Atlas III is being processed for a planned launch of the AsiaSat 4 satellite in the early part of 2003.
At Complex 41 the team has begun processing the second Atlas V - designated AV-002 - for a planned launch early next year with the first satellite for the Greek-Cypriot consortium Hellas-Sat. The booster was erected in the vertical integration facility Oct. 23; the Centaur upper stage was stacked atop the booster Oct. 28. Before launching AV-002 next year, Lockheed Martin will use it for Â¿pathfindingÂ¿ activities for the Atlas V 500 series. The 500-series configuration uses a new, larger 5.4-meter diameter payload fairing, which will enable even larger satellites to be flown on the Atlas series. The Atlas team will attach a simulated payload mass and the new 5.4 meter payload fairing atop the vehicle and roll this configuration to the pad for a practice countdown known as Â¿wet dress rehearsalÂ¿ Dec. 17, 18 and 19. AV-002 will then be reconfigured for the Hellas-Sat mission as a 400-series vehicle with a 4-meter diameter payload fairing.
Rounding out the activity at Cape Canaveral, the Titan team is preparing a Titan IV B to launch the Milstar Flight 6 military communications satellite for the U.S. Air Force in early 2003. The heavy-lift Titan IV B is the workhorse of the national security space program and will carry critical heavy payloads through 2005. Including this vehicle, there are five Titan IVs left to fly. At Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Lockheed Martin is preparing to launch a refurbished intercontinental ballistic missile - the Titan II - in December from Space Launch Complex 4 West carrying the Coriolis satellite for the U.S. Air Force.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.
ILS, based in McLean, Va., offers launch services to customers worldwide on the Lockheed Martin Atlas and the Russian Proton rocket built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center and RSC Energia. ILS offers the broadest range of launch services in the world along with products with the highest reliability in the industry. For more information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.
Julie Andrews, Lockheed Martin, Cape Canaveral321-853-1567, firstname.lastname@example.org