International Launch Services (ILS)
and EchoStar Communications Corp. announced an agreement today for the launch
of two geostationary direct broadcast satellites, plus options for launching
additional spacecraft.
Financial terms were not disclosed.

The first satellite, EchoStar VII, is expected to be launched in the
fourth quarter of this year on a Lockheed Martin Atlas III rocket from Cape
Canaveral, Fla.
The second, EchoStar VIII, is expected to be launched during
the first quarter of 2002 on a Russian Proton K rocket from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
ILS manages all tasks associated with providing
launch services on both vehicle families, including technical, management and
marketing expertise.

The Atlas III offers increased lift capability to handle today’s and
future large spacecraft.
It is part of the company’s planned evolution of
expendable launch vehicles.
The first Atlas III successfully carried the
Eutelsat W4 spacecraft to orbit last May.

“EchoStar’s choice of the Atlas III for its next satellite demonstrates
confidence in this vehicle and its heritage,” said ILS President Mark
“We’re proud of the 100% success record of the Atlas II family, and
look forward to making it 2 for 2 with Atlas III.

“ILS has launched four other EchoStar satellites on Atlas and Proton.
believe that it’s our reliable launchers and excellent service that brings us
the return business,” Albrecht added.

Both spacecraft are high-powered direct broadcast satellites that will
enhance services for DISH Network(TM), EchoStar’s state-of-the-art DBS
entertainment service.
EchoStar VII is built by Lockheed Martin Commercial
Satellite Systems; EchoStar VIII is from Space Systems/Loral.
EchoStar has
options to buy more vehicles through 2006.

EchoStar, based in Littleton, Colo., has the capability to offer
500 channels of digital video and CD-quality audio programming with its DISH
Network satellite TV system.
It serves more than five million customers

ILS, headquartered in McLean, Va., is a joint venture stock company
established in 1995.
It is owned by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch
Services and the Lockheed Khrunichev Energia International joint venture.
Atlas rockets and their Centaur upper stages are built by Lockheed Martin
Space Systems Company-Astronautics Operations at facilities in Denver, Colo.;
Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego, Calif.
The three-stage Proton is produced by
Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center at its factory near
The fourth stage is built by RSC Energia, also near Moscow.

The Atlas III is an extension of that international cooperation.
It uses
the RD-180 engine, which is marketed and sold by RD AMROSS, LLC, a joint
venture formed by Pratt & Whitney, an operating unit of United Technologies
Corp. based in West Palm Beach, Fla., and NPO Energomash of Khimky, Russia.
The Atlas III is the first American-designed launch vehicle to use a Russian
propulsion system.
The RD-180 will also be used on the upcoming Atlas V
family of vehicles, the first of which will be launched next year.

ILS offers the broadest range of launcher products in the world along with
the highest reliability in the industry.
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