Lockheed Martin-Built Titan IV Rocket Successfully Launches Defense Support Program Payload
CAPE CANAVERAL Air Force Station, Fla., 14-FEB-04 -- A Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-built Titan IV B rocket thundered off its Complex 40 seaside launch pad today at 1:50 p.m. Eastern Standard Time carrying a Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite into orbit for the U.S. Air Force. The DSP satellite constellation provides early warning of missile launches worldwide. An Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) transferred the satellite to its final orbit approximately 22,000 miles above Earth.
Today's launch was the first of two Titan IV launches planned for this year from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Fla. The second launch will be the final launch of a Titan IV from Cape Canaveral. Next year the last Titan IV will fly from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. This was the 37th Titan IV launch overall. Twenty-six Titan IVs have been launched from CCAFS and 11 from Vandenberg.
The Lockheed Martin Titan team is treating these final missions of the Titan IV like they are first-time launches, not final launches, said G. Thomas Marsh, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. The pride of our entire team is riding on these missions, because we know how important they are for our nation's security. Today's launch is a result of the great partnership between industry and the Air Force.
Titan IV, the nation's largest and most powerful expendable launch vehicle, is built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Denver, Colo. The Titan IV B is capable of boosting payloads weighing 38,800 pounds into low-Earth polar orbit, 47,800 pounds into low-Earth equatorial orbit, or more than 12,700 pounds into geosynchronous orbit.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. is under contract to the U.S. government to complete the launch of 39 vehicles. As prime contractor and systems integrator, the company builds the first and second stages and provides overall program management and launch services. The IUS was built by The Boeing Company at facilities in Kent, Wash., under separate contract with the U.S. Air Force. The satellite was built by Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Other members of the Titan IV contractor team and their responsibilities include: GenCorp Aerojet Propulsion Division, Sacramento, Calif., liquid rocket engines; Alliant Techsystems, Magna, Utah, solid rocket motor upgrade; The Boeing Company, Huntington Beach, Calif., payload fairing; and Honeywell Space Systems, Clearwater, Fla., advanced guidance.