SAN DIEGO, April 4, 2000 – International Launch Services (ILS) has provided added value to customers of its last three commercial launches by meeting and exceeding expectations for mission performance.
"At a time when simply having a successful launch is critical to our industry, ILS is proud to be providing our customers with on-target mission performance, too," said Dr. Mark J. Albrecht, President of ILS.
On the Atlas side, the excellent performance of the Atlas launch vehicle, as well as the precision injection accuracy of the Centaur upper stage, has enabled ILS's last two customers to conserve their on-board stationkeeping fuel.
The UHF Follow-On F10 satellite, launched last November, was handed over by Hughes to the U.S. Navy on February 11. Because of the Atlas-Centaur accuracy, the satellite used less fuel than expected to transition into geosynchronous orbit and has enough fuel for an estimated 17 years of stationkeeping, well in excess of the 14-year requirement.
Similarly, for the HISPASAT 1C satellite, the Atlas booster and Centaur upper stage performance, in combination with Alcatel's Spacebus 3000B2 in-orbit performance, has provided HISPASAT 1C with a good margin to operate the satellite in excess of the design requirement. Both HISPASAT and Alcatel have expressed their satisfaction with regards to the lifetime benefits.
On the Proton side, ILS provided ASIA Cellular Satellite (ACeS) International with an exceptionally accurate orbital injection, which has become the hallmark of Proton flights for all of its commercial customers. Unique as the heaviest commercial communications satellite launched by Proton, ACeS/Garuda 1 achieved the projected mission lifetime of 14.4 years, plus margin that will provide ACeS with additional revenue years. Orbital parameters at spacecraft separation were as follows:
Apogee altitude (km) achieved 36006.8 (required 36000 plus or minus 150)
Perigee altitude (km) achieved 6348.0 (6340 plus or minus 400 required)
Inclination (deg) achieved 16.693 (16.7 plus or minus 0.75 required)
Details of the performance results for the ILS commercial missions mentioned above are included below.
UHF F/O F10
A Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA rocket successfully launched the tenth Ultra High Frequency Follow-On (UFO) communications satellite into intermediate transfer orbit on November 22, 1999 from Complex 36A at Cape Canaveral. The on-time liftoff at 11:06 p.m. (EST) was the beginning of a perfect mission for Atlas, which delivered the satellite to an intermediate transfer orbit in just under a half-hour. This mission, designated AC-136, was the fourth Atlas launch of 1999 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the 45th consecutive successful flight for Atlas. The UFO F10 satellite is now on station at 72 degrees east. The HS 601 model satellite was built by Hughes Space and Communications Company, who procured the Atlas launch services on a commercial basis for its customer, the U.S. Navy.
An Atlas IIAS, designated AC-158, soared eastward over the Atlantic Ocean after lift-off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:30 p.m. (EST) on February 3, 2000 and completed a flawless 27-minute mission with the successful separation of the HISPASAT 1C Spanish commercial communications satellite. A combined team of ILS, Lockheed Martin, HISPASAT and the satellite's builder, Alcatel Space, conducted the launch. Following separation from the Centaur upper stage into the planned supersynchronous transfer orbit, the satellite successfully completed the critical phases of initial on-orbit operations.
The satellite has now completed on-orbit testing performed by Alcatel from the HISPASAT ground control stations at Arganda del Rey in Spain. The satellite performances are as expected, and the commercial phase will start immediately.
Excellent orbit injection parameters marked the ACeS/Garuda 1 mission on Proton on February 12, 2000 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Liftoff was right on time at 2:10:54 p.m. (Baikonur time). The three Proton stages and the first burn of the Block DM put the spacecraft into a circular parking orbit on schedule. About one hour later, the second burn of the Block DM successfully injected the spacecraft into an interim transfer orbit. At 6 hours 20 minutes into the flight, the Block DM third burn occurred as planned, placing the vehicle into the calculated geosynchronous transfer orbit.
Spacecraft separation at 15:50:44 UTC (8:50 p.m. Baikonur time) completed the ACeS/Garuda 1 mission.
International Launch Services (ILS) is a joint venture stock company established in 1995 to market two of the world's premier launch vehicles, the American-built Atlas and the Russian-built Proton. ILS is owned by Lockheed Martin Corporation, Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, and Rocket Space Corporation Energia.
ILS is headquartered in McLean, VA, with additional offices in San Diego, CA; Denver, CO; and Moscow, Russia.