September 9, 2016 – The Lockheed Martin-built GE-1 satellite, which carried hundreds of channels to millions of viewers in North America and the Caribbean, yesterday celebrated its twentieth year in space. It was launched on September 8, 1996 aboard an Atlas IIA rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
GE-1 is the first of more than 50 satellites built on the A2100 common framework. The satellite, now renamed AMC-1, is operated by SES and was primarily used by national broadcasters until it was replaced by SES-3 in the summer of 2015.
AMC-1 is now located at 129 degrees West, operating in inclined orbit and supporting SES’s growing mobility and government markets.
“As program director for GE-1, I oversaw the design, build and delivery of this first A2100 satellite,” said Carl Marchetto, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Commercial Space. “The A2100 framework went on to be a significant commercial success for Lockheed Martin. From its start broadcasting video with GE-1, the A2100 framework has since been used for commercial and government missions alike.”
Recently, Lockheed Martin completed an internally-funded, multi-year modernization effort to enhance the A2100’s power, propulsion and electronics, while also adopting the latest advanced manufacturing techniques to decrease production costs and timelines. Modernized A2100 satellites are in production today for customers in Japan, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Air Force.