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ATLAS II SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES AIR FORCE MISSION

 ATLAS II SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES AIR FORCE MISSION
 CAPE CANAVERAL AFS, Fla., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A U.S. Air


Force/General Dynamics Atlas II launch vehicle successfully boosted a military communications satellite today from Launch Complex 36A.
 The payload was a Defense Satellite Communications System spacecraft and the first launch in the Air Force's Medium Launch Vehicle II program. It also was the first launch operation carried our from Complex 36A since 1983, when an Atlas/Centaur successfully boosted a Intelsat V communications satellite.
 "We're extremely pleased with the flawless performance of the Atlas II in launching this very important payload for our Air Force customer," said Michael W. Wynne, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Space Systems Division. "This is a big boost to our launch vehicle business as we continue to grow and sell reliable launch services to all of our customers -- Air Force, NASA and the commercial market," he said.
 General Dynamics Space Systems Division successfully competed for the U.S. Air Force Medium Launch Vehicle II program in 1988. In May of that year, the Air Force announced General Dynamics as winner of the MLV II competition. In June, the Air Force awarded a fixed-price contract for two Atlas II launch vehicles with prepriced options for future launches.
 General Dynamics has invested more than $140 million in refurbishing both launch pads at Complex 36. Inactive since 1983, Pad A was extensively refurbished and became operational today with launch of the first Air Force MLV II. The pad's mobile service tower was refurbished and lengthened to accommodate the taller Atlas II, a new umbilical tower and foundation was constructed, launch control equipment was updated and a new environmental control system building was completed to provide equipment and shelter for payload cooling and conditioning.
 General Dynamics Space Systems Division, headquartered in San Diego, produces the Atlas launch vehicle, the Centaur upper stage and other launch vehicle components at its facilities in San Diego, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and Harlingen, Texas.
 Besides Space Systems' military MLV II program, General Dynamics Commercial Launch Services, Inc., established in 1988, has 24 commercial launch commitments over the next several years.
 -0- 2/10/92
 /CONTACT: Jack Isabel, 407-783-9222, or Julie Andrews, 619-547-9000, both of General Dynamics/ CO: General Dynamics ST: California IN: ARO SU:


JK -- SD011 -- 8562 02/10/92 20:48 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 10, 1992
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