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ATLAS IIA SCORES MISSION SUCCESS WITH DIRECTV(TM) DBS-2 SATELLITE

 CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- A Martin Marietta Atlas IIA rocket successfully launched the DIRECTV(TM) Inc. direct broadcast satellite-2 (DBS-2) from Launch Complex 36A this evening. It was the third successful Atlas launch this year, the 515th Atlas launch overall and the 83rd flight for Atlas with Centaur.
 Last February, DIRECTV(TM) Inc. a unit of GM Hughes Electronics, selected Atlas to launch DBS-2, when a U.S. Air Force Medium Launch Vehicle mission originally scheduled for July moved to 1995. DIRECTV's two-satellite DBS constellation will become operational this fall, delivering up to 150 channels of TV entertainment to homes possessing the Digital Satellite System (DSS(TM)) receiving hardware.
 "It is very gratifying for Martin Marietta to be able to meet and, in this case exceed, our customer's urgent need for launch services," said Michael R. Wash, president of Martin Marietta Commercial Launch Services Inc. "By integrating the spacecraft with the launch vehicle in a record five months, we've raised our standards for customer service. Industry-wide, we've raised the bar by which we measure mission success."
 DBS-2 also carried the SpaceArc(R) time capsule. Developed as a non-profit educational project by the Rochester Museum & Science Center in Rochester, N.Y., SpaceArc(R) includes messages from 38,000 participants who have contributed their thoughts, hopes, dreams, and images of our civilization for the enjoyment of future civilizations.
 The Atlas IIA, with a GTO payload capability of 6,500 pounds, is one of four variants in the Atlas family. The Atlas IIA booster has been stretched nine feet, and the Centaur upper stage is three feet longer than an Atlas I vehicle. AC-107 is the second IIA to be launched; the first IIA flight was in June 1992. Additional Atlas IIA backlog includes three Extra-High Frequency (EHF) satellites, two Inmarsats, and one each Orion, MSAT, SOHO, Galaxy III-R, and Eutelsat. With today's launch, total Atlas backlog numbers 27 launch commitments through the 1990s, 22 commercial and 5 military.
 Martin Marietta Commercial Launch Services Inc. offers a complete launch services package that includes the launch vehicle, complete launch operations, integration of the spacecraft, dedicated mission management and post-launch validation of spacecraft separation and orbit.
 Martin Marietta Astronautics is one of three operating elements of Martin Marietta's Space Group headquartered in Bethesda, Md. Astronautics designs, develops, tests, and manufacturers a variety of advanced technology systems for space and defense. Chief products include space systems, space launch systems and ground systems.
 -0- 8/3/94
 /CONTACT: Julie C. Andrews of Martin Marietta, 407-784-8183 or 619-974-3600/


CO: Martin Marietta ST: Florida IN: ARO SU:

JS-JB -- LA062 -- 3204 08/03/94 21:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 3, 1994
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