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EchoStar V Launch Delayed; Lockheed Martin Scrubs Atlas Launch

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 slots.

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 business units:





-- 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.


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CONTACT: EchoStar Communications Corp. Judianne Atencio, 303/723-2010 judianne.atencio@echostar.com 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



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