- Press Release
- Oct 2, 2022
Air Force selects ILS Atlas V for space test program mission
International Launch Services (ILS) has received authorization from the U.S.
Air Force to begin integration of the Space Test Program-1 (STP-1) mission
on the Atlas V rocket, scheduled to launch in September 2006.
This multi-payload mission will launch seven separate satellites and perform
a series of on-orbit maneuvers to deliver these satellites to their
respective orbital locations.
By giving the go-ahead, the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center is
making a firm commitment to launch one of 18 missions assigned to ILS and
the Lockheed Martin-built [NYSE: LMT] Atlas V rocket under the Evolved
Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Program. Thus far the Air Force has
converted five of those assignments into confirmed missions.
The DoD Space Test Program, located at Detachment 12 of the Space and
Missile Systems Center at Kirtland AFB, N.M., is responsible for the
integration of the STP-1 mission. The two-part Defense Advanced Research
Programs Agency payload for the STP-1 mission, the Orbital Express
spacecraft, will be integrated in the prime satellite location atop the EELV
Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA), which was developed by the Air Force
Research Laboratory, also located at Kirtland. The ESPA will be populated
with five smaller satellites. The STP-1 mission will launch from Complex 41
at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
"The orbital operations of this mission will demonstrate the robust
capability of the Atlas V launch system and the Centaur upper stage as well
as the unparalleled integration and mission design expertise of the Atlas
launch team," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "We’re proud that the Air
Force has placed confidence in the Atlas V to perform this cutting-edge
mission for the DoD Space Test Program Office."
The Atlas family of vehicles has achieved 72 consecutive successful launches
spanning nearly 11 years, for a mix of government and commercial customers.
The most recent Atlas launch was on May 19, with the AMC-11 satellite.
Another Atlas mission is scheduled for June 30 with a payload for the
National Reconnaissance Office.
The Atlas V vehicle is designed to lift payloads up to 19,000 pounds to
geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). Lockheed Martin developed the Atlas V
vehicle to meet Air Force EELV requirements and for ILS commercial missions.
The Atlas V vehicle has flown three commercial missions since its debut in
August 2002, all successfully.
ILS markets and manages government and commercial missions on the Atlas
rocket to customers worldwide. The company is headquartered near Washington,
D.C. The Atlas rockets and their Centaur upper stages are built by Lockheed
Martin Space Systems Co. in Denver, Colo.; Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego,
ILS has established itself as the indisputable launch services leader. The
Atlas rocket’s demonstrated reliability and launch rate capability has made
it the vehicle of choice for highly critical missions. In addition to the
five EELV launches, Atlas V has two scheduled launches for NASA, for a total
of seven firm Atlas V missions for the U.S. government. For more
information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.
Contact: Fran Slimmer, International Launch Services, McLean, Va.;