January 28th, 1997
Kistler Aerospace Corporation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPACE SYSTEMS/LORAL SIGNS $100 MILLION CONTRACT
WITH KISTLER AEROSPACE FOR TEN LAUNCHES
Seattle, Washington. January 28, 1997. Robert
Wang, Chairman of Kistler Aerospace Corporation, a company that
is developing the world's first fully reusable aerospace vehicles
to launch satellites into low-Earth-orbit, announced today that
Space Systems/Loral had signed a contract for ten launches aboard
the Kistler K-1 Reusable Aerospace Vehicle, beginning in late
1999 through early 2002. The value of the contract is in excess
of $100 million.
The Kistler K-1 fleet is being developed to
reduce the cost of placing satellites weighing up to four tons
into low-Earth-orbits. The primary market for the Kistler vehicles
is the estimated 1,400 new telecommunications and weather satellites
that will be launched into low-Earth-orbits during the coming
decade to support worldwide mobile telecommunications services.
The Kistler K-1 is primarily designed to accommodate most of the
planned low-Earth-orbit telecommunications satellites.
Robert Wang described the signing of the first
K-1 launch contract as a "Major milestone on the path to develop
and operate the world's first fully reusable launch vehicle fleet."
Mr. Wang added, "Our goals this year were to achieve four major
milestones, and with the signing of this first K-1 launch contract,
we have completed all four on schedule; the other three were assembling
top management and technical teams, contracting for services with
K-1 contractor teams, and raising significant additional private
Kistler Aerospace CEO Dr. George Mueller, who
was head of NASA's Apollo program and who is responsible for managing
the entire K-1 program, said: "The program is on schedule and
the company plans a series of six test flights beginning during
the second half of 1998, leading to revenue producing orbital
operations in 1999."
The main advantages the Kistler K-1 has over
existing satellite launch providers are cost and simplicity. The
K-1 is designed to be reused repeatedly to deliver satellites
to low-Earth-orbit. By contrast, existing and planned expendable
launch vehicles are based on missile technology and are discarded
each time they are used.
Kistler Aerospace is currently finalizing contract
negotiations for the K-1 propulsion, electronics, structures,
launch, and landing systems. The first 12 K-1 NK-33 rocket engines
have already been received by Gen. Corp./Aerojet from Russia for
qualification testing and modification. More than a dozen aerospace
contractors are involved in the Kistler K-1 program including
Boeing North American (Rockwell Aerospace), Northrop Grumman,
Gen. Corp./Aerojet, Draper Labs (MIT), Allied Signal, Alenia Spazio
(Italy), Scaled Composites, Irvin Aerospace, and Structural Dynamics
Research Corporation (SDRC).
Space Systems/Loral, which is one of the world's
largest satellite manufacturers, is a major partner in the 56
satellite low-Earth-orbit Globalstar constellation that will provide
worldwide digital telecommunications services beginning in 1998.
Space Systems/Loral is planning to build a number of other satellites
for customers that may be launched on K-1 aerospace vehicles in
the 1999 to 2002 time period.
Loral Space & Communications, Ltd., headquartered
in New York City, is a high technology company that primarily
concentrates in space and telecommunications. Loral manages and
is the largest equity owner of both Globalstar, which is building
and preparing to launch a worldwide satellite-based digital telecommunications
system, and Space Systems/Loral, the world's premier manufacturer
of large, high-powered satellites for telecommunications and environmental
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For more information
on Kistler and the K-1 vehicle, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org