Press Release

Lockheed Martin Athena I Launch Vehicle Successfully Completes First Launch From Alaska’s Kodiak Launch Complex

By SpaceRef Editor
September 29, 2001
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Athena I Deploys Four Individual Satellites for NASA and Department of
Defense Space Test Program

KODIAK LAUNCH COMPLEX, Alaska, Sept. 29, 2001 – An Athena I launch vehicle
roared into space from the Kodiak Launch Complex this evening carrying four
individual satellites to two different Earth orbits for the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Defense
Space Test program.

It was the first orbital launch from the Kodiak Island site and the first
time Athena had launched from the site. The launch vehicle lifted off at
6:40 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time (10:40 p.m. EDT) and headed south over the
Pacific Ocean tracked by radar from Cordova, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air
Force Base, Calif. The first satellite to be deployed was PICOSat at 63
minutes after launch followed by Sapphire and PCSat seven minutes later.
After the second target orbit injection, Starshine 3 was successfully
deployed 129 minutes after liftoff.

“Lockheed Martin is proud of the Athena launch team’s success in
inaugurating orbital launch capability at the Kodiak Launch Complex,” said
G. Thomas Marsh, president, Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Company-Astronautics Operations. “The four spacecraft launched aboard Athena
will perform important research and educational missions in the coming years
for students of all ages.”

The Athena I launch vehicle is capable of boosting payloads of up to 1,750
lbs. It was designed to use proven concepts, systems and hardware. The first
stage is a Castor 120‚ solid rocket motor built by ATK Thiokol Propulsion
Company of Promontory, Utah. The second stage is an Orbus‚ 21D motor built
by Pratt & Whitney Space Propulsion of San Jose, Calif. General Dynamics
Space Propulsion Systems of Redmond, Wash., built the orbit adjust module
(OAM), which houses the attitude control system and avionics systems. The
OAM provided the “burns” needed to deploy the four satellites in today’s
mission.

Today’s Athena launch was the sixth operational launch for the vehicle,
including Athena I and II. Previous successful launches include NASA’s Lewis
on an Athena I Aug. 22, 1997; Lunar Prospector on an Athena II Jan. 6, 1998;
ROCSAT-1 on an Athena I Jan. 26, 1999; and IKONOS 2 on an Athena II Sept.
24, 1999.

Starshine 3 consists of more than 1,500 hand-polished mirrors, 31
retro-reflectors and seven clusters of solar cells powering an amateur radio
transmitter. It was built by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in
Washington, D.C. assisted by thousands of school children from around the
world who polished the aluminum mirrors. The Starshine program encourages
participation from students in kindergarten through high school in tracking
the satellite’s orbital decay. This will be the first time that students
from Alaska can participate in the project due to the higher orbital
inclination of the mission.

Sapphire, PICOSat and PCSat are sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD)
Space Test program. Sapphire combines education, amateur radio outreach and
technology demonstration. It was built by students at Stanford University,
prepared for launch by faculty and students at Washington University in St.
Louis, and operated once in space by the U.S. Naval Academy.

PICOSat is a microsatellite built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. in
Guildford, United Kingdom. It will fly and operate four DoD scientific
payloads in support of weather data. PCSat is the first satellite designed
and built by midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy. Its primary mission is to
provide senior midshipmen with satellite design experience. Functionally, it
will serve as a positioning and message communications satellite for remote
travelers.

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.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global enterprise
principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and
integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The
Corporation’s core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics,
and technology services. Employing more than 130,000 people worldwide,
Lockheed Martin had 2000 sales surpassing $25 billion.

Liftoff images of the launch will be available on the Astronautics web site
Sunday morning, Sept. 30, at: http://www.ast.lmco.com

Contact: Julie Andrews, Lockheed Martin

Phone: (321)853-1567; Pager: (800)722-7717

Email: [email protected]

Evan McCollum, Lockheed Martin

Phone:303)977-5937; Pager:(800)621-8063

Email: [email protected]

SpaceRef staff editor.