A Boeing modified 601 satellite was successfully launched today on an Atlas IIAS vehicle at Cape Canaveral AS, Fla. Liftoff occurred at 12:41 a.m. EDT, (4:41 a.m. GMT and 9:41 p.m. PDT, June 18.) Acquisition on the spacecraft was received one hour and 54 minutes later at Brisbane, Australia confirming that systems are operating normally. The satellite was built for ICO Global Communications, Uxbridge, England, by Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc. (BSS), a unit of The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA). This satellite is one of 15 under contract for construction by BSS. The launch was managed by International Launch Services.
"We are extremely happy to launch this satellite for ICO Global Communications," said Randy H. Brinkley, president of Boeing Satellite Systems. "This satellite will be the test bed for the next generation of satellite telecommunications. Boeing is looking forward to launching more ICO satellites in the future and working with ICO Global Communications in providing a unique telephony and data communication system for the world."
ICO satellite constellation will consist of 10 active satellites in two planes of medium-Earth orbit at an altitude of 10,390 kilometers (6,456 statute miles). The orbits will be inclined at 45 degrees to the equator with each plane having five operational satellites plus one spare. Initially, ICO will use it for testing of the integration of its space and ground systems, and will integrate it in the full constellation.
"This is a great day for ICO," said Greg Clarke, ICO chief executive officer. "This launch fundamentally changes the character of ICO."
ICO Global Communications was established in January 1995 to provide global mobile personal communications services by satellite. Controlling shareholder is an investment group led by wireless pioneer Craig McCaw. ICO plans to offer the satellite equivalent of third-generation (3G) wireless services, including mobile voice, wireless Internet and other packet-data services.
ICO SATELLITE ACQUISTION 2-2-2
Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc., is the world's leading manufacturer of commercial communications satellites, and is also a major provider of space systems, satellites, and payloads for national defense, science and environmental applications.
The Boeing Company, headquartered in Seattle, is the largest aerospace company in the world and the United States' leading exporter. It is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, and the largest NASA contractor. The company's capabilities in aerospace also include rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, rocket engines, launch vehicles, and advanced information and communication systems. The company has an extensive global reach with customers in 145 countries and manufacturing operations throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.