BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, April 7, 2001 – The first vehicle in the
Proton M series successfully lifted off at 7:47 a.m. Moscow time today
carrying a satellite for the Russian government.

The Ekran-M satellite was successfully separated from the rocket’s Breeze M
upper stage into geostationary orbit about 7 hours later, rounding out the
mission for launch vehicle builder Khrunichev State Research and Production
Space Center.

Proton M is the upgraded version of Khrunichev’s highly reliable Proton K
launch vehicle, featuring more powerful engines, structural enhancements to
support the increased lift capability and a state-of-the-art digital
guidance system. The Proton M was teamed with the flight-tested Breeze M
upper stage, also built by Khrunichev. Together the upgrades provide
enhanced performance, greater payload volume and increased mission design

“Congratulations to Khrunichev on this successful first Proton M/Breeze M
flight,” said Mark Albrecht, president of International Launch Services
(ILS), the Lockheed Martin-Khrunichev-Energia space transportation
partnership. “By taking an evolutionary approach and phasing in the
upgrades, our partner has demonstrated increased capability while minimizing
risk to reliability.”

The Proton M/Breeze M combination is the latest addition to Khruniche’s and
ILS’ launch vehicle offerings. “With its additional lift capability, the
Proton M/Breeze M is the perfect complement to our Lockheed-Martin-built
Atlas family and the Atlas III version that was successfully flown for the
first time last May,” Albrecht said. “Customers can be assured of timely
access to space with these two vehicles available for launches and mutual

ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services and
Lockheed Khrunichev Energia International. It provides launch services to
customers worldwide on both the American Atlas and the Russian Proton rocket
families, including technical, management and marketing expertise.

ILS was formed in 1995. It offers the broadest range of launcher products in
the world along with the highest reliability in the industry. The
three-stage Proton and the Breeze M upper stage are produced by Khrunichev
at its factory near Moscow. An alternative fourth stage, the Block DM, is
built by RSC Energia, also near Moscow. The 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,