CAPE CANAVERAL Air Station, Fla., June 18, 1998 – A Lockheed Martin Astronautics Atlas IIAS rocket successfully launched the INTELSAT 805 communications satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit this evening from Complex 36, Pad A, at Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS), Fla. Liftoff occurred on time at 6:48 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. It was the fourth successful launch of 1998 for Atlas, the 39th consecutive successful flight, and the 550th overall flight of an Atlas booster.
The Atlas IIAS, designated AC-153 for the INTELSAT 805 mission, is the most powerful of the Atlas configurations presently launching payloads for commercial, military and government customers. Booster performance is increased through the use of four strap-on solid rocket boosters. The Atlas II series, including the II, IIA and IIAS, has achieved 100 percent operational success since the introduction of each launch vehicle.
Once in final orbit at 304.5 degrees East longitude, the INTELSAT 805 will provide
satellite-based communications services to the Americas and Europe. This was the 30th INTELSAT satellite to launch on an Atlas launch vehicle. The first was launched 27 years ago in January 1971. INTELSAT owns and operates an extensive global communications system. With 1997 revenues of of over US $960 million, the INTELSAT system provides voice/data and video services to customers around the world.
International Launch Services has commitments for 23 Atlas launches through the 1990s, including 17 commercial and 6 Air Force missions. Together with its commercial Proton backlog, ILS has commitments for 43 launches through the year 2000. Its combined backlog exceeds $3.5 billion. Four more Atlas launches remain in the 1998 CCAS schedule.
Atlas and the Centaur upper stage are built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics at facilities in Denver, CO; Harlingen, TX.; and San Diego, CA. 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; Honeywell Space Systems of Clearwater, FL, inertial navigation unit; Thiokol Corp. of Ogden, UT, Castor IVA solid rocket boosters; and GDE Systems of San Diego, CA, avionics boxes.
Astronautics is one of the operating units of the corporation’s Space and Strategic Missiles Sector headquartered in Bethesda, MD. Launch operations are provided by Lockheed Martin Astronautics at Cape Canaveral Air Station, Complex 36. Customer interface and launch vehicle mission management are provided by International Launch Services, headquartered in San Diego, CA. ILS was formed in 1995 to jointly market commercial launch services on Atlas and the Russian-built Proton launch vehicles.