EchoStar 3 was originaly ordered as DBSC 1 by DBSC (Direct Broadcast Satellite Corporation) which merged with a subsidiary of EchoStar in late 1995. The merger was approved by the FCC in August 1996. EchoStar is only authorized to operate 11 transponders from 61.5°W but was granted in Mar 1998 a special authorization to use the full frequency space at that location.
Atlas II was a member of the Atlas family of launch vehicles, which evolved from the successful Atlas missile program of the 1950s. It was designed to launch payloads into low earth orbit, geosynchronous transfer orbit or geosynchronous orbit. Sixty-three launches of the Atlas II, IIA and IIAS models were carried out between 1991 and 2004; all sixty-three launches were successes, making the Atlas II the most reliable launch system in history.
Lockheed Martin's Space Division started in the production of missiles and later ICBM's in the 1950s. Their TITAN missile system was used for 12 Gemini spacecraft and the Voyager probes. They have worked largely in collaboration with NASA on many of their probes, landers, and spacecraft, and hope to play a key role in NASA's return to the moon in 2024.INFO WIKI