SPACE SYSTEMS/LORAL built satellite succesfully launched from CAPE CANAVERAL
Largest Satellite Ever Uses Innovative Technology, Flight Events Proceeding on Schedule
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications (NASDAQ: LORL), and the world’s leading provider of high-power commercial satellites, today announced that the satellite that it built for ICO Global Communications (Holdings) Limited (NASDAQ: ICOG) was successfully launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite is the first to use Ground Based Beam Forming (GBBF) technology and is the largest commercial satellite ever launched. It successfully deployed its solar arrays several hours after separation and will begin firing its thrusters later today in order to maneuver into geosynchronous orbit.
ICO G1 will be used to provide fully interactive mobile video, navigation and emergency assistance service, known as ICO mim™ (mobile interactive media), throughout the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“We are very excited to see the successful launch of ICO G1,” said John Celli, president and chief operating officer of Space Systems/Loral. “Space Systems/Loral has a history of working with companies on the cutting edge of new technologies. I believe that this launch marks the beginning of a new era of unimpeded mobility.”
The Space Systems/Loral designed GBBF system creates a potentially unlimited number of antenna beams, which are processed at ground gateways. This enables significant flexibility for changing mission requirements. ICO G1 is the biggest commercial satellite launched to date, measuring more than 27 feet tall and weighing nearly 15,000 pounds at launch. Deployed, its solar arrays span more than 100 feet across and it has a 12 meter unfurlable reflector, which will open up like an umbrella when the satellite reaches its final orbit.
Space Systems/Loral is now maneuvering the spacecraft into its operational slot by managing thruster firing from its Mission Control Center in Palo Alto, Calif. Within the next few weeks, following its final placement into geostationary orbit at 92.85 degrees West longitude and routine in-orbit testing, SS/L will hand control of the satellite over to ICO to begin trials for its mobile services. The spacecraft has a planned mission life of 15 years, and is designed based on SS/L’s 1300 space-proven platform, which provides the flexibility to support a broad range of applications and technology advances.
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