CAPE CANAVERAL Air Force Station, Fla., – An early morning
launch of a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA rocket successfully placed the
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-L (GOES-L) into
geosynchronous transfer orbit for NASA and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Liftoff from Complex 36, Pad A, occurred
at 3 :07 a.m. EDT followed by successful spacecraft separation just over
27 minutes later. It was the third successful Atlas launch of 2000 from Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station and the 49th consecutive successful flight of

“We are very proud to be part of this important launch that strengthens
NOAA’s weather forecasting capability,” said Dr. Mark J. Albrecht, President
of International Launch Services. “The Atlas heritage with NASA stretches
back to the earliest days of the American space program and includes many of
the planetary and scientific missions that have made space history.”

The Atlas IIA, designated AC-137 for the GOES-L mission, is one of two
Atlas II family configurations presently launching satellites for commercial
and government customers worldwide. The Atlas II series, including the II,
IIA and IIAS, has achieved 100 percent operational success starting with the
inaugural launch of each vehicle. Specifically, the Atlas IIA has tallied
18 successes in 18 flights.

GOES-L is the fourth in this series of advanced weather satellites to be
successfully launched by Atlas for NASA and NOAA. Once on orbit, it will be
designated GOES-11 and will become an on-orbit spare to be placed into
operation as needed. The GOES satellites are built by Space Systems/Loral at
its manufacturing facilities in Palo Alto, CA.

Atlas and the Centaur upper stage are built by Lockheed Martin Space
Systems Company at facilities in Denver, CO; Harlingen, TX; and San Diego, CA.
Major suppliers to the Atlas program include Rocketdyne, a division of Boeing
North American, located in Canoga Park, CA, Atlas MA-5A engine; Pratt &
Whitney, located in West Palm Beach, FL, Centaur upper stage RL-10 engines;
Honeywell Space Systems of Clearwater, FL, inertial navigation unit; and
Marconi Integrated Systems, San Diego, CA, avionics units.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company provides launch operations at Cape
Canaveral Air Station, Complex 36. Mission management is provided by
International Launch Services, Reston, VA, formed in 1995 to jointly market
Atlas and the Russian-built Proton launch services to the international and
domestic satellite industry.