Press Release

Titan II Successfully Launches Coriolis Mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base

By SpaceRef Editor
January 6, 2003
Filed under ,

Vandenberg AFB, Calif., January 6, 2003 – A Lockheed Martin Titan II launch
vehicle successfully placed the Coriolis mission into orbit this morning for
the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. The Titan II lifted off at 6:19 a.m.
Pacific Time from Launch Complex 4W at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The
Coriolis mission comprises two payloads: the Navy Windsat Radiometer
(Windsat) and the Air Force Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI). Both payloads
were successfully placed in a low Earth, sun synchronous orbit of 516 miles
(830 kilometers).

“We are extremely proud to be part of such an important program for the U.S.
Air Force and the U.S. Navy,” said G. Thomas Marsh, president and general
manager of Lockheed Martin Space & Strategic Missiles. “We are very pleased
that the mission is off to such a successful start for our customers. The
Titan team has done an outstanding job of readying the vehicle for launch
today and the payloads were placed in orbit right on target,” added Marsh.

Today’s mission marked the 12th consecutive successful Titan II launch. One
more Titan II remains to be launched, which will complete the Titan II line
of space vehicles that are refurbished intercontinental ballistic missiles
(ICBMs).

Titan II ICBMs served as the vanguard of the United States’ strategic
deterrent for more than two decades. In the late 1960s, 10 Titan IIs also
successfully launched astronauts as part of the Gemini program. When the
Titan II ICBMs were decommissioned, the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile
Systems Center, Los Angeles, Calif., contracted with Lockheed Martin to
refurbish 14 for use as space launch vehicles.

The Coriolis / Windsat / SMEI three-year mission will provide Defense
Department and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
weather data users with important ocean wind and solar wind measurements —
improving forecasting around the globe while building important knowledge
that will be used in developing the next generation of Polar-orbiting
environmental satellites.

The U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command provided the Navy
Research Lab-built Windsat radiometer. This microwave polarimetric
radiometer will extract brightness temperature data from the microwave
energy emitted by the ocean and will generate data products for downlink to
earth stations.

The Air Force Research Lab at Hanscom AFB, Mass., is providing the Solar
Mass Ejection Imager that will improve space weather forecasts by monitoring
and warning of impending solar geomagnetic storms and magnetic fields. A
geomagnetic storm can cause a wide range of problems that affect military
and civilian spacecraft, ground-based communications and power distribution
systems, degraded satellite communication and surveillance systems. Advanced
warning of such storms would allow preventive measures to be taken to
mitigate these effects. SMEI will be able to provide advanced warning of one
to three days of impending geomagnetic storms.

Lockheed Martin Space & Strategic Missiles is a business unit of Lockheed
Martin Space Systems Company. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company 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 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.

Contact:

Evan McCollum

Phone: 303-977-5937

Pager: 800-621-8063

[email protected]

SpaceRef staff editor.