December 19, 2016 – Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services has successfully launched the EchoStar XIX communications satellite. An Atlas V 431 blasted off at 12:13 p.m. MST from Space Launch Complex 41, placing EchoStar XIX in orbit for customer Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), an EchoStar company, and marking the 139th consecutive successful Atlas launch to date.
EchoStar XIX will enable HughesNet Gen5, the next generation of HughesNet satellite Internet service, delivering more speed, more data, and more advanced features for U.S. consumers and small businesses coast to coast who are unserved or underserved by terrestrial broadband Internet services.
The rocket, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 431, was provided by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services. For commercial missions, Lockheed Martin is responsible for contracts, licensing, marketing, sales and mission management of Atlas.
“The mighty Atlas has marked yet another successful launch as it placed EchoStar XIX into orbit,” said Steve Skladanek, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services. “This reliable rocket continues to bring unparalleled precision and schedule assurance to every mission it carries.”
The launch vehicle included a 4-meter extra extended payload fairing (XEPF) and three solid rocket boosters. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine, and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C engine.
“ULA is honored to have been entrusted with the launch of the EchoStar XIX satellite,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Human and Commercial Systems. “We truly believe that our success is only made possible by the phenomenal teamwork of our employees, customers and industry partners.”
With an average slip date of less than two weeks and successful track record, the Atlas family of rockets provides the most reliable lift in the commercial market. Atlas also offers such precise delivery into orbit that customers can use the excess fuel to extend the life of a satellite and bringing more value to the mission.
“As we celebrate 10 years, ULA continues to be the nation’s premier launch provider because of our unmatched reliability and mission success,” said Wentz. “The Atlas V continues to provide the optimum performance to precisely deliver a range of missions. As we move into our second decade, we will maintain our ongoing focus on mission success, one launch at a time even as we transform the space industry, making space more accessible, affordable and commercialized.”
ULA’s next launch is the Atlas V SBIRS GEO-3 satellite for the U.S. Air Force. The launch is scheduled for January 19 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.