- Press Release
- Dec 6, 2022
Next-Generation Vehicle to Carry HOT BIRD 6
The first Atlas V launch vehicle, designated AV-001, stands
ready to make history next Wednesday (Aug. 21) for International
Launch Services (ILS), Lockheed Martin Corp. and the U.S.
space launch industry.
Liftoff is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. EDT, with the launch window
extending until 7:34 p.m. (22:05 to 23:34 GMT). Launch will take place
from Lockheed Martin’s new facilities at Cape Canaveral’s Launch
Complex 41. The Atlas V will carry the HOT BIRD(TM) 6 broadcast
satellite for Eutelsat.
The Atlas V, produced by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., is the
latest generation in long line of reliable rockets. The Atlas family
has a string of 60 successful launches over the last nine years.
“This mission continues the Atlas tradition of always carrying a
customer on a first flight,” said Mark Albrecht, president of ILS,
which provides the launch services on the Atlas. “We are committed to
mission success, as evidenced by Atlas’ enviable record. All Atlas
variants – Atlas I, II, IIA, IIAS, III – have had successful inaugural
Albrecht added, “Once again Eutelsat demonstrated its confidence
in ILS and the Atlas family by signing up to be the customer for the
first launch of an Atlas variant. Our long and mutually successful
relationship goes back to the beginning of the Atlas commercial space
program, when Eutelsat was the first customer for the Atlas II,
launched in December 1991. Eutelsat also was the first to use the
Atlas III rocket, which flew successfully in May 2000.”
HOT BIRD 6 is the most powerful satellite to be launched for
Eutelsat. It is an Alcatel Spacebus 3000B3 satellite carrying 28
transponders at Ku-band and 4 at Ka-band, as well as a SKYPLEX payload
for on-board multiplexing. It will be used to provide television and
radio broadcast services.
The HOT BIRD satellites are positioned at 13 degrees East
longitude and deliver 600 television channels and 475 radio services
across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
This is the most powerful version of Atlas launch vehicles, and
the sixth configuration introduced, illustrating Lockheed Martin’s
commitment to being the preeminent launch system provider in the
United States. ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and two
Russian companies, Khrunichev State Research and Production Space
Center and RSC Energia.
ILS markets and manages the missions for the Atlas and the Russian
The Atlas V family is designed to lift payloads up to nearly 8700
kg to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). It was developed both for
ILS commercial missions and to meet the U.S. Air Force requirements
for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV).
The Atlas V incorporates state-of-the-art designs, materials and
processes, including the throttleable, Russian-built RD-180 engine,
the first variable-thrust main engine to power a U.S. expendable
launch vehicle. The RD-180 and most of the other technologies for
Atlas V were flight-proven in 2000 on the inaugural Atlas III mission.
To support Atlas V missions, Lockheed Martin built a
state-of-the-art launch complex at Cape Canaveral. The new site
introduces the “clean pad” concept to U.S. launch capabilities for the
first time, and consolidates the support operations into two
facilities: the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center (ASOC) and the
Vertical Integration Facility.
The clean pad concept allows the Atlas V vehicle to be assembled,
tested and mated with the encapsulated spacecraft away from the pad,
thus allowing more flexibility in meeting customer needs. The ASOC
combines the Launch Operations Center, a high bay for vehicle
processing, office space for mission support and customer hospitality
ILS offers the broadest range of launch services in the world
along with products with the highest reliability in the industry. ILS’
Atlas rockets and their Centaur upper stages are built by Lockheed
Martin Space Systems Co. — Astronautics Operations at facilities in
Denver, Colo.; Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego, Calif.
The three-stage Proton and the available Breeze M upper stage are
produced by Khrunichev at its factory near Moscow. The alternative
Block DM upper stage is built by Energia, also near Moscow.
For more information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.