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Lockheed Martin's Atlas V Solid Rocket Motor Successfully Completes Test Firing at Aerojet

Press Release From: Lockheed Martin Corporation
Posted: Friday, November 1, 2002

Lockheed Martin's Atlas V 500 series launch vehicle met another significant milestone yesterday with the successful test firing of a solid rocket motor (SRM) built by Aerojet of Sacramento, Calif. The full-scale, 67-foot Atlas V solid rocket motor performed a full-duration burn for 92 seconds. The motor was strapped horizontally to a massive test stand at Aerojet's test facilities near Sacramento as it roared at thrust levels ranging from 285,000 to 390,000 pounds.

Lockheed Martin developed Atlas V to meet the U.S. Air Force requirements for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program and for commercial missions. The first Atlas V, designated AV-001, launched successfully Aug. 21, 2002, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The 400 series vehicle utilizes a 4-meter diameter payload fairing The Atlas V 500 series utilizes a larger 5.4-meter payload fairing to accommodate larger payloads. Both the Atlas V 400 and 500 series vehicles can be configured with solid rocket motors as needed for each mission.

"We are very pleased with the results of yesterday's successful test firing," said John Karas, vice president and deputy of Lockheed Martin Space Systems' EELV/Atlas V program. "The solid rocket motor performed nominally during the 92-second full duration burn. This is another very significant milestone for our Atlas V 500 series, which keeps us on schedule for launching the first Atlas V with solid rocket motors early next year," said Karas.

When the first Atlas V 500 version lifts off from Launch Complex 41 (LC 41) at Cape Canaveral next year, it will use the added propulsion of two solid rocket motors. Pathfinder operations using an inert solid rocket motor were successfully completed earlier in the year at LC 41.

The Atlas V medium lift family of launch vehicles with SRMs is designed to lift payloads up to 19,000 pounds (nearly 8,700 kg) to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). The Atlas V Heavy Lift Vehicle (HLV) can boost even heavier payloads to orbit. The Atlas V incorporates state-of-the-art designs, materials and processes, including the powerful RD-180 engine. Atlas rockets and their Centaur upper stages are built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems-Astronautics Operations at facilities in Denver, Colo.; Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego, Calif.

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 a full-range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, 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.

Atlas launch services are marketed and managed by International Launch Services (ILS). ILS, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Russian companies Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center and RSC Energia, offers the broadest range of launch services in the world along with products with the highest reliability in the industry. In addition to the Atlas, ILS offers the Russian-built Proton rocket. ILS, headquartered in McLean, Va., pioneered the concept of mutual backup between the two families of vehicles to assure timely launches for its customers.

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. Lockheed Martin had 2001 sales surpassing $24 billion.

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