SAN DIEGO, April 29, 1996 – Lockheed Martin and INTELSAT signed a contract today for launch of two INTELSAT VIIIA satellites on Lockheed Martin Astronautics’ Atlas IIAS. The launches are scheduled to take place in 1998 from Cape Canaveral Air Station, FL.
The INTELSAT VIII/VIIIA series of satellites, built by Lockheed Martin Astro Space Commercial, offers significantly increased C-band capacity for telephony, video services and VSAT applications to INTELSAT’s members and customers. Six INTELSAT VIII/VIIIA satellites have been ordered.
“We are very pleased to be able to launch two more INTELSAT satellites, adding to the 28 previous missions for this long-standing Atlas customer,” said Michael R. Wash, President-Atlas Division, ILS. “Most recently, our Atlas IIAS has provided mission success for three launches of the INTELSAT VII series – 703, 704 and 705.”
Atlas launched its first INTELSAT mission 25 years ago in January 1971. The Atlas IIAS that will be used for the INTELSAT VIIIA missions is the most most powerful configuration in the Atlas family of launch vehicles flying today. It makes use of four strap-on solid rocket boosters to lift up to 8,150 pounds to geosynchronous transfer orbit. Atlas IIAS has had 100 percent operational success since its introduction in December 1993.
“Atlas has been an consistent partner with INTELSAT during our long shared history, providing outstanding reliability and technical performance. We look forward to two more successful launches with the Atlas team,” said Irving Goldstein, Director General of INTELSAT.
The Atlas booster and the Centaur upper stage are built at Lockheed Martin Astronautics production facilities in Denver, CO; San Diego, CA; and Harlingen, TX. This INTELSAT VIIIA launch contract brings the Atlas backlog of launch commitments to 23.
INTELSAT owns and operates the world’s most extensive global communications system. With 1995 operating revenues of over $805 million, the INTELSAT system provides voice/data and video services via satellite.
Astronautics is one of four operating elements of the corporation’s Space and Strategic Missiles Sector headquartered in Bethesda, MD. Launch services are provided by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services, the Atlas contracting organization of International Launch Services, formed in 1995 to jointly market Atlas and the Russian-built Proton launch vehicles.