Lockheed Martin awarded commercial launch contract for EchoStar XIX satellite
EchoStar has tapped Lockheed Martin to provide commercial launch services for the company’s EchoStar XIX communications satellite, also known as JUPITER 2. The satellite will be sent aloft from Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket in late 2016.
JUPITER 2 is considered to be a large spacecraft, weighing in at some 6.3 metric tons. It is a multi-spot beam Ka-band satellite, built by Space Systems Loral (SSL) located in Palo Alto, California.
Designed to meet the increasing demand for HughesNet high-speed satellite Internet service in North America, the spacecraft will be put into a geostationary orbit (GEO) and is planned to be in service for 15 years or longer. The satellite is based on the highly reliable SSL-1300 space-proven platform, which provides the flexibility to support a broad range of applications and technology advances. It will offer 50 percent more capacity, compared to EchoStar XVII (JUPITER 1).
Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services (LMCLS), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lockheed Martin Corporation will manage the work under the contract.
“This is an important launch to HughesNet customers and the Atlas V rocket makes it an ideal choice for this launch,” said Steve Skladanek, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services. “The Atlas program brings unmatched performance, reliability and schedule assurance for EchoStar and Hughes.”
LMCLS markets the Atlas V to commercial satellite customers worldwide and also offers Athena launch services for small satellites and multi-payload RideShare missions. LMCLS is responsible for contracts, marketing, sales, and mission management for commercial and international government Atlas missions and all Athena missions.
ULA has congratulated LMCLS for being selected to provide commercial launch services for the EchoStar XIX satellite.
“We are pleased ULA’s reliable Atlas V vehicle was selected to launch this important communication satellite for EchoStar,” said Tory Bruno, president and CEO of ULA. “Atlas continues to be a cost-effective, proven choice for commercial and government customers to deliver vital satellites to orbit.”
EchoStar Satellite Services has a fleet of 24 owned, leased and managed satellites. The company provides video distribution, data communications, and backhaul services to meet the needs of media and broadcast organizations, Direct-To-Home (DTH) providers, enterprise customers and government service providers. It offers a complete range of services, including full-time and part-time Ku-band transponder capacity on satellites located at 121°, 105°, and 85°, and complex satellite solutions.
“We are looking forward to the EchoStar XIX launch with Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services and appreciate the vast experience and expertise that they bring to the table as we work toward a mission success in late 2016,” said Michael Dugan, president and CEO of EchoStar Corporation.
The first JUPITER satellite, also built by SSL, was launched by Ariane 5 rocket into GEO in July 2012.
Tomasz Nowakowski is the owner of Astro Watch, one of the premier astronomy and science-related blogs on the internet. Nowakowski reached out to SpaceFlight Insider in an effort to have the two space-related websites collaborate. Nowakowski’s generous offer was gratefully received with the two organizations now working to better relay important developments as they pertain to space exploration.