SAN DIEGO, Sept. 22, 1999 – A combined Russian, European and American team is conducting final preparations to launch a Proton rocket on September 27 carrying the LMI-1 communications satellite to orbit for Lockheed Martin Intersputnik (LMI). The rocket is scheduled to lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Republic of Kazakhstan at 4:30 a.m. (6:30 p.m. USA EDT, Sept. 26; 2230 GMT, Sept. 26). The launch window is 10 minutes long.

The three-stage Proton was produced by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center at its factory in Moscow. The fourth stage was built by RSC Energia, located near Moscow. The satellite was built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems at its facilities in Sunnyvale, CA, USA, and is an A2100AX series bus design. International Launch Services (ILS) is providing mission management for the launch.

The LMI-1 launch will be the fifth ILS commercial launch to be carried out on Proton this year and the thirteenth launch overall since the Lockheed Martin, Khrunichev and Energia joint venture was formed. The launch is also the first launch on Proton for LMI.

LMI-1, the first satellite in the LMI constellation, will be located at 75 degrees East longitude. LMI-1 features 44 high-powered transponders in the C and Ku-band frequency range and is designated for a 15-year service life. LMI is a joint venture company comprising Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications and the Intersputnik International Organization of Space communications.

The launch will be broadcast live on Galaxy 6, Transponder 11, for US domestic downlink with test signals starting at 2200 GMT.

Notification of a successful launch will occur after spacecraft separation, approximately 6 hours and 38 minutes after liftoff. Launch status updates will be available on the ILS U.S. domestic launch hotline, 1-800-852-4980.

ILS is a joint venture stock company established in 1995 to market Proton and the Lockheed Martin Astronautics-built Atlas to the worldwide satellite launch market. ILS is owned by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services and the Lockheed Khrunichev Energia International joint venture. ILS is headquartered in San Diego, CA, USA.

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