CAPE CANAVERAL Air Station, Fla., Jan. 31, 1996 – A Lockheed Martin Atlas IIAS rocket, designated AC-126, successfully launched the Palapa C1 communications satellite for PT Satelit Palapa Indonesia (Satelindo) tonight from Complex 36B at Cape Canaveral Air Station, FL. It was the first launch of 1996 for Atlas and the first launch of a Palapa C for Satelindo.
“Following our record-breaking 1995, Atlas is once again poised to deliver the same level of reliability this year for the many important customers represented on our 1996 manifest,” said Michael R. Wash, president – Atlas Division, International Launch Services. “This was our first launch for Satelindo and we wish them continued success serving their Asia Pacific customers.”
The Atlas IIAS, designated AC-126 for the Palapa C1 mission, is one of four variants in the Atlas family presently launching satellites for domestic and international customers. The Atlas family is capable of launching satellites weighing from 5,000 to 8,150 pounds. Atlas IIAS, the most powerful Atlas configuration, uses four strap-on solid rocket boosters to increase performance.
Once in final orbit, Palapa C1 will be positioned at 113 degrees east longitude to provide C-band and Ku-band transmissions to an area centered on the Pacific Rim extending from Iran to Vladivostok and south to Sydney and New Zealand. Satelindo is a private Indonesian telecommunications company based in Jakarta providing services through its fleet of on-orbit satellites to the Asia Pacific region.
Atlas and the Centaur upper stage are built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics at facilities in Denver, CO and San Diego, CA. Astronautics is one of four operating elements of the corporation’s Space and Strategic Missiles Sector headquartered in Bethesda, MD. Astronautics designs, develops, tests and manufactures a variety of advanced technology systems for space and defense.
Major suppliers to the Atlas program include Rocketdyne, a division of Rockwell International, located in Canoga Park, CA, Atlas MA-5A engines; Pratt & Whitney, located in West Palm Beach, FL, Centaur upper stage RL-10 engines; Honeywell Space Systems of Clearwater, FL, inertial navigation unit; and Thiokol Corp. of Ogden, UT, Castor IVA solid rocket boosters (on Atlas IIAS configurations).
International Launch Services was established in 1995 as a result of the merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta to market commercial space launch services on the Atlas and Proton launch vehicles. ILS is owned jointly by Lockheed Martin’s Commercial Launch Services and the LKEI joint venture with Khrunichev Enterprise and RSC Energia in Russia. ILS offers its customers full advantage of both products to ensure the highest degree of schedule assurance and mission success.