McLEAN, Va., Nov. 8, 2002 — International Launch Services (ILS) and Hellas-Sat, a Greek-Cypriot consortium, have signed a contract to launch the Hellas-Sat satellite on an Atlas V rocket early next year. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The contract follows the successful inaugural launch of the Lockheed Martin-built (NYSE:LMT) Atlas V from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in August. All Atlas variants boast first-flight success. The Atlas family of launch vehicles has a record of 62 consecutive successful flights spanning nine years.
ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. in the United States, with Russian companies Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center and RSC Energia. ILS provides launch services on the Atlas and the Russian Proton vehicles to customers worldwide. The company is based in McLean, Va., near Washington, D.C.
"We are very pleased that Hellas-Sat, as a first-time customer, has placed its confidence in ILS and Atlas to launch this important communications payload – the first domestic satellite for Greece and Cyprus," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "We look forward to delivering a successful and timely launch to assist Hellas-Sat in commencing its business."
Hellas-Sat Consotium Ltd., based in Nicosia, Cyprus, plans to offer voice, internet, video and broadcast services to European and Balkan markets. With the launch set for the first quarter of 2003, the satellite will be in service well before the Summer Olympics in Athens in 2004. The satellite is a Eurostar E2000+ model built by Astrium, a pan-European joint venture of European Aeronautical Defence & Space Co. and BAE Systems.
The signing of this contract ensures the success of the whole project and secures the prompt delivery of the satellite in orbit, Hellas-Sat officials said.
The Atlas V family is designed to lift payloads up to nearly 8700 kg to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). It was developed both for ILS commercial missions and to meet the U.S. Air Force requirements for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV).
The Atlas V incorporates state-of-the-art designs, materials and processes, including the throttleable, Russian-built RD-180 engine, the first variable-thrust main engine to power a U.S. expendable launch vehicle.
ILS offers the broadest range of launch services in the world along with products with the highest reliability in the industry. ILS' Atlas rockets and their Centaur upper stages are built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. – Astronautics Operations, at facilities in Denver, Colo.; Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego, Calif. The three-stage Proton and the available Breeze M upper stage are produced by Khrunichev at its factory near Moscow. The alternative Block DM upper stage is built by Energia, also near Moscow.