The Lockheed Martin
Atlas V launch team successfully performed the third and final practice
countdown, known as "wet dress rehearsal (WDR)," clearing the way for
combined operations with the Eutelsat satellite team and the scheduled Aug.
12 launch. This will be the inaugural launch for the next-generation Atlas,
designated AV-001.

"We performed this test exactly the way we will do the launch countdown,
except that we did not lift off at T-zero," said John Karas, vice president
of Atlas V development. "With three successful rehearsals, the team is
confident we’re ready to begin the final preparations for launch."

At the same time Atlas V WDR activities were taking place at Launch Complex
41, the Atlas team also erected the booster for the September Atlas IIAS
mission at Launch Complex 36, Pad A. This demonstrates the capability of the
team to conduct simultaneous operations at both Cape Canaveral Atlas launch
pads. The Atlas II and III families of launch vehicles will continue to fly
from LC36 to meet all customer commitments.

WDR number three began on Monday, July 15, with an early morning rollout of
AV-001 to the launch pad atop the mobile launch platform. The kerosene-like
fuel known as RP-1 was loaded aboard the booster stage, and the vehicle was
secured for the day. On day two, the team loaded the cryogenic propellants
on the vehicle as if for launch and then unloaded them. The process
concluded this morning as the team unloaded RP-1 fuel and moved the vehicle
back to the vertical integration facility.

This clears the way for final processing of AV-001 and combined operations
with the satellite team. The HOT BIRD 6 satellite, encapsulated in the
payload fairing, will be attached to the vehicle on Aug. 1. A combined
integrated systems test will follow on Aug. 5.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is
one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space
Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates of a variety of
advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers.
Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, ground systems,
remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government
customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet
ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global enterprise
principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and
integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The
Corporation’s core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics,
and technology services. Employing more than 140,000 people worldwide,
Lockheed Martin had 2000 sales surpassing $25 billion.

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Contact: Julie Andrews

Ph: (321)853-1567

Pg: (800)722-7717

Fran Slimmer

Ph: (571) 633-7462

Cell: (646) 229-4801