CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 12, 1999--Lockheed
Martin and EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:DISH, DISHP)
announced this afternoon that it will postpone tomorrow morning's
Atlas launch carrying the EchoStar V communications satellite to allow
engineers time to analyze an avionics unit that failed factory testing
over the weekend. The unit, a Remote Control Unit (RCU), is part of
the Atlas launch vehicle control system.
None of the avionics systems on the launch vehicle that was being
readied for tomorrow's launch exhibited problems; however, it is
standard procedure to thoroughly check out components that fail during
production acceptance testing when they are identical or similar to
those components already installed on the launch vehicle.
The launch of EchoStar V on AC-155 will be rescheduled based on
the avionics unit being cleared, improving weather conditions and
range availability at Cape Canaveral. The launch operation forecast
for today indicated a strong probability that a HURCON 3 condition
would be called tomorrow morning, which would require securing the
launch pad to prepare for severe weather effects from the hurricane.
The delay will not affect DISH Network's industry leading service
of over 350 channels. When launched to its position at 110 degrees
West Longitude, EchoStar V will be a turning point in television
history as it adds 150 more channels to the existing 350 channels
available on EchoStar's DISH Network™ to become the first TV
provider in the nation to offer 500 channels using a single small dish
pointed at both the 110 degree W.L. and the 119 degree W.L. orbital
EchoStar V was built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif.,
based on its FS 1300 design.
Launch operations are provided by Lockheed Martin Astronautics at
its Cape Canaveral Air Station Complex 36 facility. Astronautics is
one of the operating elements of the corporation's Space and Strategic
Missiles Sector headquartered in Bethesda, Md. Mission management is
provided by International Launch Services, from San Diego, Calif.,
which formed in 1995 to jointly market launch services on Atlas and
the Russian-built Proton launch vehicles.
EchoStar Communications Corp., includes three interrelated
-- DISH Network™ is EchoStar's state-of-the-art DBS system that will soon offer customers over 500 channels of digital video and CD-quality audio programming, fully MPEG-2/DVB compliant hardware and installation. DISH Network was rated number one in customer satisfaction in the pay TV industry by the J.D. Power and Associates 1999 Cable/Satellite TV Customer Satisfaction Study. -- EchoStar Technologies Corporation designs, manufactures and distributes DBS set-top boxes, antennas and other digital equipment for the DISH Network and various international customers that include ExpressVu Canada and Telefonica's Via Digital system in Spain. ETC provides construction, oversight and project integration services for customers internationally. ETC also oversees EchoStar Data Networks Corporation in Atlanta, a leading supplier of MediaStream® technology for distributing Internet content over satellite networks. -- Satellite Services provides the delivery of video, audio and data services to business television customers and other satellite users. These services include satellite uplink, satellite transponder space usage and other services. Satellite Services also administers SKY VISTA, a direct broadcast satellite service offering popular digital satellite television programming to viewers in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories in the Caribbean.
DISH Network currently serves 2.8 million customers and is a
trademark of EchoStar Communications Corporation. DISH Network is
located on the Internet at www.dishnetwork.com.
CONTACT: EchoStar Communications Corp. Judianne Atencio, 303/723-2010 firstname.lastname@example.org or International Launch Services Julie Andrews, 619/645-6400 KEYWORD: FLORIDA CALIFORNIA MARYLAND GEORGIA ALASKA HAWAII INTERNATIONAL CANADA LATIN AMERICA INDUSTRY KEYWORD: COMPUTERS/ELECTRONICS COMED TELECOMMUNICATIONS ENTERTAINMENT