A Defense
Support Program (DSP) satellite for the U.S. Air Force and Department of
Defense was successfully deployed into orbit today by a Boeing
Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) following launch aboard a Titan IV rocket.

The Lockheed Martin Titan IV booster lifted off at 12:01 p.m. EDT from
Space Launch Complex 41.
Approximately nine minutes into flight, the IUS and
DSP satellite were deployed.

“Today’s launch was the seventh DSP mission for IUS and the 22nd mission
completed since its inaugural flight in 1982,” said Paul Bay, Boeing IUS
program manager. “There are three launches remaining in the contract with the
Air Force, with the last mission scheduled for 2002,” he noted.
“Boeing is
committed to providing support to this important national security program.”

DSP satellites are part of a national security system that protects the
United States and its allies by detecting missile launches, space launches and
nuclear detonations.

For six hours and 45 minutes after separating from the Titan IV booster,
the IUS autonomously performed all functions to place the spacecraft into its
proper orbit approximately 22,000 miles above the Earth.
In addition to
firing its two stages, the IUS also performed “rotisserie-like” roll maneuvers
to protect the satellite from damage due to extreme heat or cold prior to
spacecraft separation.

The mission follows the successful deployment of the Chandra X-Ray
Observatory for NASA last July 23.

Compatible with both the Space Shuttle and the Titan IV rocket, the IUS is
a two-stage booster that delivers spacecraft into a wide range of Earth orbits
beyond Titan IV or Shuttle’s capabilities.
The IUS can boost up to 5,300
pounds to geosynchronous orbit, and 8,000 pounds out of Earth’s gravitational
field, and features fully redundant avionics for guidance, navigation and

Boeing assembles and tests the IUS for the U.S. Air Force and NASA at its
Kent, Wash., facility, and is responsible for spacecraft integration and
checkout, ground operations and launch preparation at Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station, Fla., and launch and mission control operations.