Spaceflight Now: Breaking News

Lockheed Martin ships Air Force satellite for launch
Posted: July 26, 2000

An artist's concept of a DSCS satellite in space. Photo: Lockheed Martin
An Air Force Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) spacecraft with significant performance upgrades was shipped Saturday evening, July, 22, by prime contractor Lockheed Martin Space Systems -- Missiles & Space Operations to Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla., for a launch tentatively scheduled in October.

The DSCS 3 B11 spacecraft, the second of four super high-frequency communications satellites to feature Service Life Enhancement Program (SLEP) upgrades, will provide improved uninterrupted secure voice and high data rate communications to its Department of Defense users.

This satellite, the twelfth of 14, will join 11 other DSCS satellites currently on orbit. The two remaining DSCS 3 satellites will also feature the SLEP upgrades that provide increased downlink power, improved connectivity to its antennas and upgraded transponded channels.

Space Systems has full responsibility for the third generation of 14 DSCS 3 spacecraft to include storage, launch preparation, operations support and modifications.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems -- Missiles & Space Operations, Sunnyvale, Calif., is an operating company within Lockheed Martin Space Systems, headquartered in Denver, Colo. It is a leading supplier of satellites to military, civil government and commercial communications organizations around the world. These spacecraft have enhanced military and civilian communications; provided new, extensive and timely weather data; studied the Earth and space; and furnished new data for thousands of scientists studying our planet and the space around it.