Lockheed Martin-built Atlas IIIB and A2100 Satellite Launched Successfully for EchoStar Communications Corporation
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., February 21st, 2002 -- The EchoStar VII telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems for EchoStar Orbital Corporation, was launched successfully today from this seaside launch complex aboard an Atlas IIIB rocket provided by International Launch Services. Liftoff occurred at 7:43 a.m. EST and initial contact with the satellite, called acquisition of signal, was confirmed at 8:43 a.m. EST from the Lockheed Martin satellite tracking station in Uralla, Australia. "We are extremely proud of the capability we have demonstrated today in providing a total system solution for our valued customer EchoStar," said Ted Gavrilis, president, Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. "Atlas gave us a perfect ride and I commend our commercial space team for meeting our commitment to deliver a world class, high-performance spacecraft that will greatly enhance EchoStar's direct-to-home satellite TV service."
EchoStar VII is based on the Lockheed Martin A2100 AX satellite bus optimized for direct broadcast applications. The spacecraft, with nearly 10 kilowatts of power, will provide satellite TV services over the United States and will include spot-beam coverage. EchoStar VII is the fifth EchoStar satellite built by Lockheed Martin and is the third EchoStar satellite constructed on the award-winning A2100 design. The satellite will operate at 119 degrees West Longitude orbital location.
The Atlas III is a planned progression from the 100-percent-successful Atlas II series. It also introduced technologies that will be used on the Atlas V, which Lockheed Martin developed for both commercial missions and the U.S. Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program.
Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, based in Newtown, Pa., markets, designs and builds geostationary and non-geostationary telecommunications and remote sensing satellites for customers worldwide. LMCSS is an operating unit of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, one of the core business areas of the Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT). Lockheed Martin has a 41-year heritage of building reliable spacecraft for commercial and military customers, having launched more than 875 spacecraft and clocking nearly 1,500 years of on-orbit performance experience.