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Launch Details

IKONOS 1 - Athena-2

An Athena II rocket which launched at 11:22 a.m. PDT from Space Launch Complex 6 (SLC-6) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on April 27, 1999. The rocket did not achieve sufficient velocity to place the IKONOS 1 satellite into Earth orbit. Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, Sunnyvale, Calif., built the IKONOS 1 satellite for Denver-based Space Imaging. Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver built the Athena II rocket. The Athena rocket was scheduled to place the IKONOS 1 satellite into a circular orbit of 423 miles above the Earth. However, the Athena II's payload fairing did not separate properly. As a result of carrying the extra weight of the payload fairing, the rocket did not achieve sufficient velocity to place the IKONOS 1 satellite into Earth orbit. Any components that may have survived reentry would have fallen into the South Pacific Ocean.