ICO 2 / Atlas IIAS
A Lockheed Martin Atlas IIAS successfully placed the ICO-A1 communications satellite for the New ICO company into the intended medium-Earth orbit. The launch occurred at 12:41 a.m. EDT, the opening of the 120-minute launch window. The launch was licensed by the FAA. The ICO-A1 satellite is a modified Boeing 601 communications satellite built by Boeing Satellite Systems. New ICO, formerly ICO Global Communications, will use the satellite in a global satellite-based mobile communications system that will offer digital data and voice services as well as the satellite equivalent of third-generation wireless services, including wireless Internet and other packet-data services once in orbit. ICO's 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 this satellite for testing of the integration of its space and ground systems, and will integrate it with the full constellation. ICO satellites will carry an integrated C- and S-band payload -- with a total of 5,100 watts of power and a peak effective isotropic radiated power of 58 dBW -- to support 4,500 simultaneous telephone calls. An onboard narrow band digital processor will perform channelization, routing and beam-forming of the S-band payload.