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ILS Proton Successfully Launches EchoStar VIII Satellite.

Business Editors/Hi-Tech Writers

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 22, 2002

A Russian Proton rocket successfully delivered its EchoStar VIII satellite payload into orbit today, marking the fifth mission this year for International Launch Services (ILS).

The Proton K/Block DM rocket lifted off at 11:15 a.m. local time (1:15 a.m. EDT, 5:15 GMT), and placed the EchoStar VIII direct-broadcast satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit 6 hours and 36 minutes later. This was the third Proton mission of the year for ILS, and the fifth Proton flight overall for 2002.

Proton has had 100 percent success in all 24 of its launches over the last 30 months, for both Russian government missions and for commercial flights managed by ILS, based in McLean, Va.

The successful launch of EchoStar VIII brings EchoStar's fleet to eight satellites. From its 110 degrees West Longitude orbital position, EchoStar VIII's unique spot-beam feature will allow a more efficient use of spectrum, enabling EchoStar to expand DISH Network local-into-local service and increase in-orbit backup capacity.

This also was the second satellite launched this year by ILS for EchoStar Communications Corp. of Littleton, Colo. The EchoStar VII satellite was successfully launched Feb. 21 on an Atlas III rocket.

"We appreciate the confidence that EchoStar has shown in ILS by choosing our vehicles for two launches in a short time frame," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "Proton's reliability is legendary, and we're proud to celebrate another successful mission." ILS vehicles have launched six of EchoStar's eight satellites.

EchoStar VIII is a 1300 model satellite built by Space Systems/Loral. Albrecht noted that this is the third Loral-built satellite to be launched on Proton this year.

ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) 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 Proton.

The ILS joint venture was honored this summer with the 2002 Market Engineering Strategic Alliance Leadership Award from consulting and training firm Frost & Sullivan. ILS was cited for having led the market in number of launches worldwide for the last three years.

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 Company-Astronautics Operations at facilities in Denver; Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego, Calif.

The three-stage Proton and the Breeze M upper stage are assembled by Khrunichev at its plant near Moscow. The alternative Block DM upper stage is built by Energia, also near Moscow. For more information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.
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Comment:ILS Proton Successfully Launches EchoStar VIII Satellite.
Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 22, 2002
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