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Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space and Communications and the world’s leading provider of high-power commercial satellites, announced that the satellite that it built for ICO Global Communications (Holdings) Ltd., was successfully launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, FL. 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 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 US including Alaska and Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the US 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.” ICO G1 is the biggest commercial launched to date, measuring more than 27 feet tall and weighing 15,000 pounds at launch. Deployed, its solar array 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, CA. 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.