McLEAN, Va., Oct. 18, 2000 – A Lockheed Martin Astronautics Atlas IIA rocket is being readied at Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS), Fla., to launch the eighth spacecraft for the Defense Satellite Communications System III (DSCS III) program under contract to the U.S. Air Force. The launch window opens at 7:36p.m. EDT and extends 79 minutes to 8:55 p.m.

This is the seventh of eight Atlas launches planned by International Launch Services (ILS) for CCAS this year. AC-140, the Atlas IIA vehicle used for this mission, will launch the DSCS B11 satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The satellite will reach its final orbital position at 95 degrees East longitude by use of its on-board propulsion system. All previous seven launches of DSCS III spacecraft on Atlas were successful, dating back to the first DSCS III launch in February 1992. The Atlas family has achieved 52 consecutive, successful flights and the Atlas II series has a 100% mission success.

The DSCS III B11 spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, is the second of four super high-frequency communications satellites to feature Service Life Enhancement Program upgrades. These upgrades will provide improved uninterrupted secure voice and high data rate communications to its Department of Defense national security users. Missiles & Space will supply two more of these satellites to the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA.

The launch may be viewed live at:
Date: 10/19/00
Time: 6 :45p.m.EDT
Satellite: Galaxy 3 Transponder 23
Satellite Location: 95 Degrees
Down Link Frequency: 4160 MHZ C-band

Launch status updates can be obtained by dialing the ILS Launch Hotline at 1-800-852-4980.

Missiles & Space is a leading supplier of satellites to military, civil government and commercial communications organizations around the world. These spacecraft have enhanced military and civilian communications; provided new, extensive and timely weather data; studied the Earth and space; and furnished new data for thousands of scientists studying our planet and the space around it.

Atlas and the Centaur upper stages are built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics at facilities in Denver, CO, USA; San Diego, CA, USA; and Harlingen, TX, USA. Major suppliers to the Atlas program include Rocketdyne, a division of Boeing North American, located in Canoga Park, CA, USA, Atlas MA-5A engine; Pratt & Whitney, located in West Palm Beach, FL, USA, Centaur upper stage RL-10 engines; Honeywell Space Systems of Clearwater, FL, USA, inertial navigation unit; and Marconi Integrated Systems, San Diego, CA, USA, avionics systems.

Headquartered in McLean, VA, USA, International Launch Services is a joint venture stock company established in 1995 to jointly market the Russian-built Proton and the Lockheed Martin-built Atlas to the worldwide satellite launch market. The company currently offers the broadest range of launcher products in the world along with the highest reliability in the industry. ILS is owned by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services (LMCLS) and the Lockheed Khrunichev Energia International (LKEI) joint venture.

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