Martin’s next-generation Atlas V vehicle passed another significant
test on the launch pad last week on the way to its debut launch this
summer. The Atlas team successfully completed the second "wet dress
rehearsal (WDR)," which is a practice countdown for actual launch. WDR
number one was conducted successfully during the week of March 11.

"Including lessons learned from our first WDR, the Atlas team
accomplished all of the major test objectives we had set out for the
second practice countdown," said Adrian Laffitte, director-Atlas
launch programs. "This WDR presented some challenges to the team,
which is just what these rehearsals are meant to do. It really gives
us the feel of an actual launch day."

WDR is the process of duplicating all launch day operations, including
propellant loading. It is a major pre-launch test that proves all
airborne and ground hardware and software are ready to perform. In
subsequent Atlas V campaigns, the WDR will typically be performed 10
days before launch. The Atlas II and III series, which have a perfect
launch record, routinely perform WDRs before launch.

ay2AFor WDR number two, the Atlas V, designated AV-001, rolled to the pad
on its mobile launch platform (MLP) from the vertical integration
facility (VIF) early the morning of May 15, and the process began to
load the super-cold liquid propellants onboard the booster and Centaur
upper stage. This process was about 80 percent complete when software
noted a pressure reading that halted the countdown. The operation was
secured for the day. The team resolved the issue the next day and the
wet dress rehearsal test resumed on Friday, May 17, concluding with a
roll back to the vertical integration facility from the launch pad on
Saturday, May 18.

Other recent important milestones for the Atlas V program include
successful pathfinding activity to validate the process of installing
solid rocket boosters on the Atlas V vehicle. In addition, the first
of the new 5.4-meter payload fairings, which will enclose the largest
payloads Atlas V will launch, arrived at the Cape for pathfinding
activity at Astrotech, the payload processing facility near Cape
Canaveral. These systems will fly on the first Atlas V-501 series.

The Atlas V family is designed to lift payloads up to 19,000 pounds
(nearly 8,700 kg) to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). Lockheed
Martin developed it to meet the U.S. Air Force requirements for the
Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program and for commercial
missions, both of which are marketed and managed by International
Launch Services (ILS). The Atlas V incorporates state-of-the-art
designs, materials and processes, including the RD-180 engine, most of
which have been flight-proven on the Atlas III.

ILS offers the broadest range of launch services in the world along
with products with the highest reliability in the industry. 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. ILS, a partnership of
Lockheed Martin and Russian companies Khrunichev State Research and
Production Space Center and RSC Energia, also offers the three-stage
Proton rocket. ILS pioneered the concept of mutual backup between the
two families of vehicles, to assure timely launches for its customers.

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 a
variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and
commercial customers. Chief products include a full-range of space
launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, 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 highly
diversified global enterprise principally engaged in the research,
design, development, manufacture and integration of
advanced-technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s
core businesses span space and telecommunications, electronics,
information and services, aeronautics, energy and systems integration.
Lockheed Martin had 2001 sales surpassing $24 billion.