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Boeing Launches Dual-Use Italian Observation Satellite

HUNTINGTON BEACH --- The Boeing Company today successfully launched the third of four Italian Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation (COSMO) SkyMed spacecraft.

A Delta II rocket procured from United Launch Alliance for Thales Alenia Space Italia lifted off at 7:28 p.m. pacific time from Pad SLC-2W at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The COSMO-SkyMed spacecraft was deployed to low-Earth orbit approximately 58 minutes after liftoff.

"The third successful Delta launch for the COSMO-SkyMed program further strengthens Boeing's continued commitment to provide domestic and international commercial customers reliable access to space for science, defense and telecommunications services," said Ken Heinly, director of Boeing Launch Products & Services, and president of Boeing Launch Services, Inc.

Boeing Launch Services successfully launched the first two COSMO-SkyMed satellites in June and December of 2007.

Thales Alenia Space Italia developed the COSMO-SkyMed program for the Italian Space Agency and the Italian Ministry of Defence. It is an end-to-end Earth observation dual-use (civil and military) system comprised of four medium-sized satellites and supporting ground stations for orbit control systems and data reception and processing. The system will take imagery of the Earth using an X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar instrument capable of operating in all visibility conditions at the request of institutional and commercial users, including members of the civil and scientific, and defense communities.

Boeing has a close business alliance with Thales Alenia Space. The European company has provided Delta II tanks since 2001 and built many elements for the International Space Station (ISS), including the Multi-purpose Pressurized Logistics Modules, Cupola and Harmony Node 2. Boeing is the prime contractor for the ISS.

Boeing Launch Services is a customer-focused subsidiary that provides business development, sales, procurement and program management of Delta launch services for commercial customers. It is part of the Space Exploration division of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and is based in Huntington Beach, Calif.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32.1 billion business with 71,000 employees worldwide.

Boeing Launches Third Italian Earth Observation Satellite