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U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin Team Up to Successfully Launch Final Milstar II Satellite on a Titan IV B Rocket
PRNewswire-FirstCall
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla.

Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force joined forces to successfully place the Milstar II military communications satellite into orbit today. Titan IV B, the nation's most powerful launch vehicle, roared off the launch pad at 9:43 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Six and one-half hours later the Milstar II satellite separated from the Centaur upper stage, joining the four other Milstar satellites already on orbit to complete the constellation.

"More than ever, the Lockheed Martin Titan and Milstar teams understand how important it is to deliver Mission Success for our customer," said G. Thomas Marsh, president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Space & Strategic Missiles. "We are proud of our role in providing the most advanced communications capabilities to the men and women of our military forces who are deployed around the world."

Titan IV B continues to launch critical national security payloads into space as the mainstay heavy-lift launch vehicle for the U.S. With its Centaur upper stage, Titan IV B is capable of lifting payloads weighing 47,800 pounds into low-Earth orbit or more than 12,700 pounds into geosynchronous orbit. For this mission the 2 million pound plus vehicle and payload lifted off under the power of its two huge solid rocket motors attached to the core vehicle. Nine minutes later after completion of the first and second stage "burns," the Centaur upper stage took over for a standard three-burn mission profile to place the Milstar II satellite into final orbit.

Four Titan IV Bs remain to be launched, three from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and one from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Today's launch was the 35th Titan IV to be launched, including 24 from the Cape and 11 from Vandenberg.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Space & Strategic Missiles is under contract to the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., to complete the launch of 39 vehicles. Other members of the Titan IV contractor team include: GenCorp Aerojet Propulsion Division, Sacramento, Calif., liquid rocket engines; Alliant Techsystems, Magna, Utah, solid rocket motors; The Boeing Company, Huntington Beach, Calif., payload fairing; and Honeywell Space Systems, Clearwater, Fla., advanced guidance.

The Milstar constellation provides protected, global communication links for the joint forces of the U.S. military and can transmit voice, data and imagery, in addition to offering video teleconferencing capabilities. Milstar's "switchboard-in-space" concept allows communications links to be established rapidly, allowing the satellites to network together in space and eliminate the need for ground relay stations. This final Milstar launch will significantly increase the Milstar constellation's capability to provide rapid, global coverage for the nation's strategic forces, the Air Force's space warning assets and operationally deployed military forces. The U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin-led team is postured to execute an accelerated checkout to get critical capabilities in the hands of our forces as soon as possible.

Milstar II is the third satellite to carry the Medium Data Rate payload built by Boeing Satellite Systems, El Segundo, Calif. The MDR payload has 32 channels with each channel capable of processing data at speeds of 1.5 megabits per second. Milstar II also features the Low Data Rate (LDR) payload built by Northrop Grumman Space Technology (formerly TRW Space and Electronics), Redondo Beach, Calif. Northrop Grumman also supplies medium data rate antennas and a digital processor to Boeing. Boeing also supplies electronics to Northrop Grumman for the LDR payload.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include space launch and ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a highly diversified global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's core businesses span space and telecommunications, electronics, information and services, aeronautics, energy and systems integration.

For more information about Lockheed Martin Space Systems, see our websites at: http://lmms.external.lmco.com/, http://www.ast.lmco.com/.

CONTACT: Julie Andrews, +1-321-853-1567, or +1-800-722-7717 (pager), or Julie.c.Andrews@lmco.com, or Steve Tatum, +1-408-887-5859 (cell), +1-888-926-2912 (pager), or stephen.o.tatum@lmco.com, both of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.

SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

CONTACT: Julie Andrews, +1-321-853-1567, or +1-800-722-7717 (pager), or
Julie.c.Andrews@lmco.com, or Steve Tatum, +1-408-887-5859 (cell),
+1-888-926-2912 (pager), or stephen.o.tatum@lmco.com, both of Lockheed Martin