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GENERAL DYNAMICS SPACE SYSTEMS DIVISION ROLLS OUT THE FIRST ATLAS IIAS

 SAN DIEGO, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- General Dynamics Space Systems Division rolled out the newest member of the Atlas family of launch vehicles today from its San Diego production facility. Designated AC-108, the first Atlas IIAS was shipped from the Kearny Mesa Atlas production facility to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Upon arrival at CCAFS, AC-108 will undergo final processing in preparation for a mid-December 1993 launch from Launch Complex 36B.
 "The completion and rollout of this Atlas IIAS is a major milestone for us," said Michael W. Wynne, General Dynamics Space Systems Division president. "Not only have we completed the Atlas family of launch vehicles, with a new model produced in each year since 1990, but we've also demonstrated our readiness to launch heavier class payloads."
 The Atlas IIAS is an uprated version of the Atlas II family, which is used by the U.S. Air Force and commercial customers. It is capable of lifting up to 8,000 pounds into geosynchronous transfer orbit. Four strap-on Castor IV-A solid rocket boosters built by Thiokol have been added to the Atlas booster stage to increase liftoff thrust and payload lift capability.
 AC-108 will deliver the AT&T Telstar 401 satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit in mid-December. Telstar 401 is the first of AT&T's next-generation video and data services satellites. General Dynamics Commercial Launch Services Inc. is providing launch services to AT&T for Telstar 401 and is under contract with AT&T for an additional Atlas IIAS-Telstar launch in 1994.
 Intelsat ordered the first Atlas IIAS launch service from General Dynamics in April 1989 and now has three Atlas IIAS missions under contract for their Intelsat VII series of satellites. NASA has also selected Atlas IIAS for its SOHO solar observatory, a joint program with the European Space Agency.
 General Dynamics Space Systems Division, headquartered in San Diego, builds the Atlas I, II, IIA and IIAS launch vehicles, as well as the Centaur high-energy upper stage and other launch vehicle components at its facilities in San Diego, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and Harlingen, Texas. To date, of General Dynamics' 62-vehicle Atlas production program, 42 have already been sold or optioned for launch. The launch manifest for the remainder of 1993 includes the Atlas IIAS launch of Telstar 401 and an Atlas II for the U.S. Air Force.
 -0- 9/24/93
 /CONTACT: Julie C. Andrews, 619-974-3600/


CO: General Dynamics Space Systems Division ST: California IN: ARO SU:

JB-MF -- SD005 -- 5593 09/24/93 17:18 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 24, 1993
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