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Atlas to launch ICO satellite
Posted: Thu, Mar 16, 2006, 8:24 PM ET (0124 GMT)
Atlas 5 launch of Hellas Sat (ILS) International Launch Services (ILS) announced Thursday that it had won a contract to launch a next-generation mobile telephony satellite. Under the contract, an Atlas 5 421 will launch the satellite for ICO no earlier than the end of May 2007. The Space Systems/Loral-built satellite, to be located in GEO, will provide mobile phone and data services for North America. ICO originally planned to provide such services globally with a constellation of satellites in medium Earth orbit and launched two of the planned 12 satellites (one unsuccessfully); the venture ran into financial problems and entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, emerging as a restructured company focused on the North American market using a single GEO satellite.
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