Atlas Launches ICO G1 Satellite

Yesterday at 4:12 pm at Cape Canaveral, an Atlas 5 rocket successfully lifted ICO Global Communications‘ ICO G1 North American geosynchronous satellite, "a mobile communications satellite to assist and entertain Americans on the go."

The launch marked the first commercial flight in two years of an Atlast 5, and the carrying of its heaviest payload ever

 Weighing 14,625 pounds, the ICO G1 spacecraft was the heftiest payload ever launched by an Atlas rocket. Built by Space Systems/Loral, the craft stands over 27 feet tall, features a 39-foot-diameter mesh reflector antenna that will be unfurled in space and a pair of power-generating solar wings to span over 100 feet tip-to-tip once extended in orbit.

It’s a pretty bird, the G1:


 The ICO G 1 satellite belongs to the 2-GHz mobile systems, which are driving a growing segment of today’s satellite manufacturing industry.

ICO’s G 1 satellite is based on SS/L’s space-proven LS-1300 platform, which has an excellent record of reliable operation. Its high efficiency solar arrays and lightweight batteries are designed to provide uninterrupted electrical power. In all, SS/L satellites have amassed almost 1,200 years of reliable on-orbit service.

ICO G1 is a next-generation satellite designed to deliver a wide variety of interactive services to mobile and portable devices using ICO’s Mobile Interactive Media (ICO mim™).

The launch marks the first deployment of DVB-SH service in North America. DVB-SH is short for Digital Video Broadcasting – Satellite services to Handhelds; it’s "a physical layer standard for delivering IP based media content and data to handheld terminals such as mobile phones or PDAs, based on a hybrid satellite/terrestrial downlink."

ICO mim addresses a wide variety of consumers’ entertainment, information and two-way communication needs, including live and stored mobile TV in vehicles, interactive navigation, and roadside assistance, all with nationwide coverage.

ICO mim will also initially provide 10-15 channels of premium television content to portable, larger-screen (4.5- to 10-inch) user devices. Initial partners for the trial phase of ICO mim include Alcatel-Lucent.

For a demo video of ICO mim click here. To see the current state of DVB-H reployments, click here.

Here’s the launch video…