CAPE CANAVERAL Air Station, Fla., February 15, 1999 - A Lockheed Martin Atlas IIAS rocket, designated AC-152, successfully launched the JCSAT-6 communications satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit tonight from Complex 36A at Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS), Fla. Liftoff occurred at 8:45.26 p.m. EST.
The Atlas II series, consisting of the II, IIA and IIAS, has compiled a perfect record with 100 percent mission success for each configuration starting with the Atlas II introduction in 1991, the Atlas IIA in 1992 and the Atlas IIAS in 1993. The Atlas II family is capable of launching satellites weighing from 2,268 to 3,696 kg (5,000 to 8,200 lbs). The new Atlas IIIA and B expand that performance capability up to 4,500 kg (9,920 lbs).
JCSAT-6 will be operated by Japan Satellite Systems, Inc. (JSAT), a telecommunications company headquartered in Tokyo. Once operational at 124 degrees East longitude, JCSAT-6 will provide voice, data, SKY PerfecTV! broadcasting and satellite internet services. JCSAT-6 is an HS 601 satellite design built by Hughes Space and Communications Company headquartered in El Segundo, Calif.
Atlas and the Centaur upper stage are built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics at facilities in Denver, Colo.; San Diego, Calif; and Harlingen, Texas. Major suppliers to the Atlas program include Rocketdyne, a division of Boeing North American, located in Canoga Park, Calif., Atlas MA-5A engines; Pratt & Whitney, located in West Palm Beach, Fla., Centaur upper stage RL-10 engines; Honeywell Space Systems of Clearwater, Fla., inertial navigation unit; Thiokol Corp. of Brigham City, Utah, Castor IVA solid rocket boosters; and GDE Systems, San Diego, Calif., avionics systems.
Astronautics is one of the operating elements of the corporation's Space and Strategic Missiles Sector headquartered in Bethesda, Md. Launch services are provided by Lockheed Martin Astronautics at CCAS Complex 36 and by ILS, San Diego, Calif, formed in 1995 to jointly market the Atlas and the Russian-built Proton launch vehicles.