CAPE CANAVERAL Air Station, Fla., Sept. 3, 1999 – A Lockheed Martin Atlas IIAS rocket is on the launch pad and in final preparation to launch a communications satellite for Colorado-based EchoStar Communications Corp., a world-wide provider of direct-to-home satellite television products and services. EchoStar V will be launched on September 10 from Complex 36A at Cape Canaveral Air Station, FL. The launch window opens at 1:12 a.m. EDT and extends one hour and 59 minutes to 3:11 a.m. The launch will be broadcast live on Galaxy 6, Transponder 11, with test signals at 12:30 a.m. EDT.
The Atlas IIAS used for this mission, designated AC-155, consists of the Atlas booster, the Centaur upper stage and four strap-on solid rocket boosters. After the Atlas booster phase of flight, the Centaur upper stage will use two engine burns separated by a 15-minute coast to place EchoStar V into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) with an apogee of approximately 43,705 kilometers (23,399 nautical miles) at spacecraft separation. The spacecraft will then use its on-board propulsion system to achieve the final geostationary orbit at 110 degrees West longitude.
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 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.