CAPE CANAVERAL Air Station, FL, September 7, 1999 – The launch of a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIAS rocket carrying the EchoStar V communications satellite has been delayed. It had been scheduled for launch at 1:12 a.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 10, from Cape Canaveral Air Station, FL. The company expects to announce a new launch date within the next few days.
Lightning struck Launch Complex 36A at Cape Canaveral on Monday, Sept. 6, where technicians have been preparing the rocket for launch. It will take several days to review the launch vehicle, satellite and other systems to ensure that they were not affected by the lightning strike.
The pre-launch news conference that had been scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT, Wednesday, Sept. 8, also has been postponed and a new date will be announced in the next few days.
The satellite is being launched for Colorado-based EchoStar Communications Corp., a world-wide provider of direct-to-home satellite television products and services.
EchoStar V was built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, CA, based on its 1300 bus satellite design. This will be the third EchoStar satellite to be launched under the auspices of International Launch Services (ILS). Prior ILS launches included EchoStar III on an Atlas IIAS Oct. 5, 1997, and EchoStar IV on Proton May 7, 1998. EchoStar V will enable EchoStar's DISH Network to expand direct-to-home television broadcasting services for its consumers.
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 engine; Pratt & Whitney, located in West Palm Beach, FL, Centaur upper stage RL-10 engines; Honeywell Space Systems of Clearwater, FL, inertial navigation unit; Thiokol Propulsion, Brigham City, UT, Castor IVA solid rocket boosters; and Marconi Integrated Systems, San Diego, CA, avionics systems.
Launch operations are provided by Lockheed Martin Astronautics at Cape Canaveral Air Station, Complex 36. Mission management is provided by International Launch Services, San Diego, CA, formed in 1995 to jointly market Atlas and the Russian-built Proton launch services to the international and domestic satellite industry.