CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., Feb. 5 -- The AMC-10 telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for SES AMERICOM, was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral aboard a Lockheed Martin-built Atlas IIAS rocket provided by International Launch Services (ILS).
Initial contact with the satellite, called acquisition of signal, was confirmed at 7:53 p.m. EST from the Lockheed Martin satellite tracking station in Uralla, Australia.
"We are extremely proud to deliver mission success for such a loyal, long-standing customer as SES AMERICOM," said Ted Gavrilis, president, Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS). "AMC-10 is the ninth A2100 that Lockheed Martin has built for SES AMERICOM as part of a successful association that spans 25 years."
AMC-10 features 24, 36 MHz C-band transponders that will be used to provide cable television services to the 50 United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. AMC-10 will take the place of the retiring Lockheed Martin-built Satcom C-4 at orbital location 135 degrees West Longitude and will enhance SES AMERICOM's world-wide fleet of satellites, which provide global distribution of cable, broadcast television and radio, telecommunications services, business television and broadband data.
Based on the award-winning A2100 satellite series manufactured by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, Newtown, Pa., AMC-10 has a predicted service life of 15 years and represents the 23rd straight successful launch of an A2100 spacecraft for customers worldwide.
"AMC-10's C-band payload is fully committed to the top tier cable programmers who are depending on us to distribute dozens of channels and new high definition services to (over 80 million) American TV households, and we're depending on this Lockheed Martin A2100 to perform brilliantly for the next 15 years," said SES AMERICOM President Dean Olmstead. "Since 1996, AMERICOM has added nine A2100 satellites to our fleet, and we look forward to adding the tenth when we launch AMC-11 in May."
The Lockheed Martin A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series is designed to meet a wide variety of telecommunications needs ranging from Ka-band/broadband services, fixed satellite services in a C-band and Ku-band payload configuration, high-power direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum, and S-band payloads. The A2100's modular design features a reduction in parts, simplifying construction, increasing on-orbit reliability and reducing weight and cost.
In recognition of the A2100's reliability, Lockheed Martin received a 2003 award for "Product of the Year," by Frost & Sullivan. Calling it "the most reliable and efficient of its class," Frost & Sullivan recognized the LMCSS-built A2100 satellite platform for its "outstanding on-orbit reliability record since it was first offered in 1996."
About SES AMERICOM
The largest supplier of satellite services in the U.S., SES AMERICOM, Inc. is recognized as a pioneer of global satellite communications services. Established in 1973 with its first satellite circuit for the U.S. Armed Forces, the company currently operates a fleet of 16 spacecraft in orbital positions providing service throughout the Americas, across Europe, over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and throughout Asia. As a member of the SES GLOBAL family, AMERICOM is able to provide end-to-end telecommunications solutions to any region in the world. SES AMERICOM's key customers include ABC Radio Networks, AT&T Alascom, AOL Time Warner, Deutsche Welle, Discovery, EchoStar, Fox, TV Guide/Gemstar, Gannett, HBO, Hughes Network Systems, NBC, The New York Times, NHK, PaxNet, PBS, TELE Greenland, TV Europa, Verestar, Viacom and, through AMERICOM Government Services, various agencies of the U.S. government.
About International Launch Services (ILS)
ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. in the United States, manufacturer of the Atlas rocket, and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Russia, builder of the Proton rocket. ILS provides launch services on the Atlas and Proton vehicles to customers worldwide.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2002 sales of $26.6 billion.
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