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Lockheed Martin Built EchoStar X Satellite Launched Successfully

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by Staff Writers
Newtown PA (SPX) Feb 16, 2006
The EchoStar X telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin for EchoStar Communications of Englewood, Colo., was successfully launched aboard a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL launch vehicle from the Equator. Lift-off occurred at 6:35 p.m. ET and initial contact with the satellite, called acquisition of signal, was confirmed at 8:19 p.m. ET from the Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) satellite tracking station in Uralla, Australia.

Based on Lockheed Martin's high-power A2100AX platform, EchoStar X will operate from 110 degrees west and is designed for a minimum service life of 15 years. EchoStar X is the 27th of Lockheed Martin's award-winning A2100 series of spacecraft delivered to satellite operators around the world. EchoStar X also represents the sixth spacecraft Lockheed Martin has delivered to EchoStar, which include EchoStar I through EchoStar IV and EchoStar VII.

"Lockheed Martin built the first four satellites in EchoStar's constellation and takes great pride in once again providing mission success for one of our long-standing and valued customers," said LMCSS President Ted Gavrilis. "As EchoStar marks its 25th year in business, we are pleased to deliver EchoStar X, which will greatly enhance the company's DISH Network capabilities."

EchoStar X features a Ku-band direct broadcast (DBS) payload optimized to provide additional bandwidth for more satellite TV services for DISH Network customers. Used in conjunction with other EchoStar satellites, EchoStar X enables DISH Network to expand services and channel offerings for its customers nationwide.

EchoStar X is the first in a series of seven satellite launches planned this year for LMCSS. LMCSS launch events scheduled for 2006 include JCSAT-9 and JCSAT-10 for JSAT Corporation, ASTRA 1KR and ASTRA 1L for SES ASTRA and GSL-3 and AMC-14 for SES AMERICOM.

Lockheed Martin's highly reliable A2100 telecommunications satellite series has received several industry awards for reliability in its history, including Frost and Sullivan's Satellite Reliability Award for excellence in the production of flexible and reliable communications satellites used in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO).

The LMCSS A2100 had the lowest rate of anomalies of satellites in service for the second consecutive year, according to Frost and Sullivan. Of the major commercial satellite buses currently available and in extensive use, Frost and Sullivan concluded that the A2100 is the most reliable satellite now available for a majority of satellite services.

The Lockheed Martin A2100 spacecraft series is designed to meet a wide variety of commercial and government telecommunications needs ranging from Ka-band/broadband services and fixed satellite services in C-band and Ku-band payload configurations, to high-power direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum and S-band mobile satellite services. The A2100's modular design features a reduction in parts, simplified construction, increased on-orbit reliability and reduced weight and cost.

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Arianespace And Roscosmos Sign Contract For Soyuz Operations At Guiana Space Center
Paris, France (SPX) Feb 15, 2006
Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, and Anatoly Perminov, Director General of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, today signed the supply contract for the first four Soyuz launch vehicles to be launched from the Guiana Space Center (Kourou, French Guiana) starting in 2008. The ceremony in Moscow was attended by the French and Russian prime ministers.

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