Morelos 3 (Mexsat 2) to be launched on rare Atlas V commercial launch

by | Sep 13, 2013 | commercial launch services, Satellites | 0 comments

Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Systems (LMCLS) has signed a contract with the Mexican government’s Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportas agency for the launch on an Atlas V rocket of the communications satellite Morelos 3 (aka Mexsat 2).  The spacecraft which is currently being built by Boeing is likely to be launch in 2015 from the Cape Canaveral launch site, Florida, USA.  

While the Atlas V has a good reliability record, surprisingly few commercial satellites have flown on it.   According to the Flightglobal/Ascend SpaceTrak database, the Atlas V has only flown eight commercial missions since 2002 with the last being in 2009.  This low figure  maybe due  to cost as the Atlas V is believed to be more expensive to procure commercially than other launch vehicles.   There is also the issue of finding a suitable flight slot as most Atlas V launches are committed to orbiting US government payloads as operated by the United Launch Alliance (ULA). 

ULA is a joint Lockheed Martin/Boeing consortium that operates Atlas V and Delta IV rockets which were developed by both companies respectively under the US Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) programme.

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