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Telstar 7 announcement today



LOCKHEED MARTIN LOSES TELSTAR AS CUSTOMER

Lockheed Martin has lost its customer for the first Atlas 3 booster, Loral's
Telstar 7, as questions about the rocket's upper stage engine continue to
plague the U.S. launch industry.

The debut launch of Lockheed's Atlas 3 has been on hold since June because
of suspicions about its second stage engine, an RL10 built by Pratt &
Whitney in West Palm Beach, Fla. A similar engine failed in May causing a
Delta 3 rocket to botch a satellite-delivery mission. Investigators
determined that the rocket's combustion chamber, where propellants are mixed
and burned, ruptured, possibly due to a
manufacturing flaw. In addition to the Delta 3, the engine is used by Atlas
2 and Atlas 3 rockets, all of which remain grounded.

courtesy of space.com


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