The Lockheed Martin commercial geostationary communications satellite fleet has achieved a significant milestone by accumulating 1,000 years of in-orbit operations.
JCSAT-13, built for SKY Perfect JSAT, and VINASAT-2, manufactured for Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, were successfully launched May 15 and are the 100th and 101st satellites in the Lockheed Martin fleet.
“Our focus on providing customers with performance, innovation and mission success is the cornerstone of this remarkable achievement,” said Kevin Bilger, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of Global Communications Systems. “We look forward to building on our legacy of providing reliable, affordable solutions that meet our customers’ advanced communications needs.”
SATCOM 1, launched Dec. 13, 1975, was Lockheed Martin’s first commercial GEO satellite. Many cable television companies used SATCOM 1 as the springboard for launching their businesses. SATCOM 1 was also the first satellite used by traditional broadcast television networks in the United States to distribute programming to some of their local affiliate stations.
“It is especially meaningful that we’ve reached this milestone during Lockheed Martin’s centennial anniversary,” said Joseph Rickers, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. “This achievement is a clear demonstration of how we continue to deliver capability, reliability and efficiency to our customers.”
Lockheed Martin has developed seven generations of commercial GEO satellite platforms throughout its history. Its most recent satellite offering is the highly reliable A2100, which accommodates a large range of payloads. It serves as the platform for critical government missions, including the Advanced Extremely High Frequency, Mobile User Objective System, and GPS III satellite programs. It has also been adapted for Lockheed Martin’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Series-R Earth observing mission.