International Launch
Services (ILS) has received authorization from the U.S. Air Force to
begin operations for launch of a national security payload on an Atlas
V vehicle in mid-2007 from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

This launch, designated NROL-24 for the National Reconnaissance
Office, is one of seven initially assigned to ILS and the Lockheed
Martin Atlas V launcher under the Air Force’s Evolved
Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. ILS, a Lockheed Martin Corp.
joint venture, now has 16 EELV assignments. This is the sixth to be
given the go-ahead for launch.

Lockheed Martin developed the Atlas V launcher to meet Air Force
EELV requirements and for ILS commercial missions. The Atlas V vehicle
has flown four times since its debut in 2002 – all successfully and
all for commercial customers. The most recent Atlas V launch took
place in December from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and another
commercial mission is planned for March. The first government EELV
launch of Atlas V is planned for April 2006.

The NROL-24 mission will use the Atlas V “401” configuration –
with a 4-meter payload fairing, an Atlas Common Core Booster with no
solid rocket motors, and a single-engine Centaur upper stage – and
will launch from Atlas V’s state-of-the-art Launch Complex 41. Details
about the payload are classified.

Mark Albrecht, ILS president, said, “Our long and valued
partnership with the NRO’s Office of Space Launch goes back more than
a decade, using many versions of our Atlas vehicles. This contract
comes just as we completed the launch campaign for another Office of
Space Launch mission, which was Thursday aboard the final Atlas III
from the venerable Launch Complex 36. We are pleased that the
government continues to entrust us with important missions such as

ILS markets and manages government and commercial missions on the
Atlas rocket to customers worldwide. It also offers the Russian-built
Proton vehicle to commercial customers. The company is headquartered
near Washington, D.C.

The Atlas rockets and their Centaur upper stages are built by
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Denver, Colo.; Harlingen,
Texas; and San Diego, Calif.

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