The EchoStar X telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin for EchoStar Communications Corporation of Englewood, Colo., was successfully launched today aboard a Sea Launch Zenit- 3SL launch vehicle from the Equator. Lift-off occurred at 6:35 p.m. ET and initial contact with the satellite, called acquisition of signal, was confirmed at 8:19 p.m. ET from the Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) satellite tracking station in Uralla, Australia.

Based on Lockheed Martin’s high-power A2100AX platform, EchoStar X will operate from 110 degrees west and is designed for a minimum service life of 15 years. EchoStar X is the 27th of Lockheed Martin’s award-winning A2100 series of spacecraft delivered to satellite operators around the world. EchoStar X also represents the sixth spacecraft Lockheed Martin has delivered to EchoStar, which include EchoStar I through EchoStar IV and EchoStar VII.

“Lockheed Martin built the first four satellites in EchoStar’s constellation and takes great pride in once again providing mission success for one of our long-standing and valued customers,” said LMCSS President, Ted Gavrilis. “As EchoStar marks its 25th year in business, we are pleased to deliver EchoStar X, which will greatly enhance the company’s DISH Network capabilities.”

EchoStar X features a Ku-band direct broadcast (DBS) payload optimized to provide additional bandwidth for more satellite TV services for DISH Network customers. Used in conjunction with other EchoStar satellites, EchoStar X enables DISH Network to expand services and channel offerings for its customers nationwide.

EchoStar X is the first in a series of seven satellite launches planned this year for LMCSS. LMCSS launch events scheduled for 2006 include JCSAT-9 and JCSAT-10 for JSAT Corporation, ASTRA 1KR and ASTRA 1L for SES ASTRA and GSL-3 and AMC-14 for SES AMERICOM.

Lockheed Martin’s highly reliable A2100 telecommunications satellite series has received several industry awards for reliability in its history, including Frost & Sullivan’s Satellite Reliability Award for excellence in the production of flexible and reliable communications satellites used in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO). The LMCSS A2100 had the lowest rate of anomalies of satellites in service for the second consecutive year, according to Frost & Sullivan. Of the major commercial satellite buses currently available and in extensive use, Frost & Sullivan concluded that the A2100 is the most reliable satellite now available for a majority of satellite services.

The Lockheed Martin A2100 spacecraft series is designed to meet a wide variety of commercial and government telecommunications needs ranging from Ka-band/broadband services and fixed satellite services in C-band and Ku-band payload configurations, to high-power direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum and S-band mobile satellite services. The A2100’s modular design features a reduction in parts, simplified construction, increased on-orbit reliability and reduced weight and cost.

About EchoStar Communications

EchoStar Communications Corporation serves more than 12 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Network(TM), the fastest growing U.S. provider of advanced digital television services in the last five years. DISH Network offers hundreds of video and audio channels, Interactive TV, HDTV, sports and international programming, together with professional installation and 24-hour customer service. Visit EchoStar’s DISH Network at or call 800-333-DISH (3474).

About Lockheed Martin

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2005 sales of $37.2 billion.

For more information about Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, see our web site at

Media Contacts: Dee Valleras, 215-497-4185; e-mail,