Launches

By | December 11, 2006 | Uncategorized

AMC-18 Telecommunications Satellite Launched

A telecommunications satellite was launched Friday on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle, according to Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT].

Liftoff from Kourou, French Guiana, came at 5:08 p.m. ET.

The AMC-18 satellite by Lockheed will serve European bourses, or stock exchanges, in Paris and Luxembourg, teamed as SESG.

AMC-18, which will be operated by SES AMERICOM, an SES GLOBAL company, was launched into an orbital location at 105 degrees West.

The satellite has been optimized for next-generation programming services, including high definition channels.

AMC-18 will carry twenty four 36 MHz C-band transponders and will provide cable programming and broadcast services to the 50 United States and the Caribbean.

The satellite is expected to provide more than 15 years of design life and will expand SES AMERICOM’s fleet of satellites, which provide distribution of cable, broadcast television and radio, telecommunications services, business television and broadband data throughout the Americas and transoceanic regions.

This is the 13th A2100 series spacecraft designed, built and launched for SES AMERICOM by Lockheed Martin.

The largest defense contractor currently is building AMC-14, which is scheduled to be launched next year. AMC-18 also marks the fifth launch of an A2100 this year and the second A2100 boosted to orbit by Arianespace of Evry, France.

A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft are designed to meet a wide variety of telecommunications needs including Ka-band broadband and broadcast services, fixed satellite services in C-band and Ku-band, high-powered direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum and mobile satellite services using UHF, L-band, and S-band payloads.

This asset features a reduction in parts, simplified construction, increased on-orbit reliability and reduced weight and cost, according to Lockheed.

The A2100 spacecraft design accommodates a large range of communication payloads as demonstrated by the 30 spacecraft successfully flown to date, the company continued. This design modularity also enables the A2100 spacecraft to be configured for missions other than communication.

The A2100 design is currently being adapted for medium earth orbit navigation missions and geostationary earth orbit-based earth observing missions and is currently the baselined platform for the Lockheed Martin Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Series-R proposal.

Two Trident II D5 Missiles Launched In Successful Test

Two Trident II D5 fleet ballistic missiles were launched last month, in a successful test of the system, missiles maker Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] announced.

The Navy launched the unarmed missiles Nov. 21 from the USS Maryland (SSBN 738) Ohio Class ballistic missile submarine at the Eastern Range in the Atlantic Ocean.

With this two-missile mission, the Trident II D5 missile has achieved 117 consecutive successful test launches since 1989, a record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle, according to Lockheed.

The launches are part a continuing series of operational system evaluation tests conducted by the Navy to assure the safety, reliability, readiness and performance of the Trident II D5 Strategic Weapon System, as required by the Department of Defense National Command Authority and conducted under the testing guidelines of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The D5 missile’s superb record is a result of continual technical advances under the exceptional leadership of the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs,” said Tory Bruno, vice president of Strategic Missile Programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “The Navy’s rigorous testing program helps to ensure the reliability and credibility of this critical national security asset.”

First deployed in 1990 and scheduled for deployment until 2042, the Trident II D5 is aboard 12 of an eventual 14 Trident II-configured Ohio-class submarines. The three-stage, solid propellant, inertial-guided ballistic missile has a range of 4,000 nautical miles and carries multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles.

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