CAPE CANAVERAL Air Station, Fla., March 8, 1997 - A Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA rocket, designated AC-128, successfully launched the TEMPO direct broadcast satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit early this morning from Complex 36A at Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS), FL. It was the 29th consecutive successful Atlas launch from CCAS and the second Atlas launch of 1997.
The Atlas IIA, designated AC-128 for the TEMPO mission, is one of four variants in the Atlas family presently launching satellites for domestic and international customers. The Atlas II series, consisting of the II, IIA and IIAS, has compiled a perfect record with 100 percent mission success of each configuration starting with the Atlas II in 1991, the Atlas IIA in 1992 and the Atlas IIAS in 1993. The Atlas family is capable of launching satellites weighing from 2,268 to 3,696 kg (5,000 to 8,150 lbs). The new Atlas IIAR, which will begin launching in 1998, expands that performance capability to 4,037 kg (8,900 lbs).
TEMPO was built by Space Systems/Loral at its facilities in Palo Alto, CA for TeleCommunications, Inc. of Littleton, CO. Once in final orbit, TEMPO will provide direct broadcast television service in the Ku-band to the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Atlas and the Centaur upper stage are built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics at facilities in Denver, CO, San Diego, CA, and Harlingen, TX. Major suppliers to the Atlas program include Rocketdyne, a division of Boeing North American, located in Canoga Park, CA, Atlas MA-5A engines; Pratt & Whitney, located in West Palm Beach, FL, Centaur upper stage RL-10 engines; and Honeywell Space Systems of Clearwater, FL, inertial navigation unit.
Launch services are provided by Lockheed Martin Astronautics at CCAS Complex 36 in Florida. Mission management is provided by International Launch Services, San Diego, CA, formed in 1995 to jointly market the Atlas and the Russian-built Proton launch vehicles.