Launch Time
Tue Apr 27, 1999 18:22 UTC

Payload fairing failed to separate, and the extra weight prevented the vehicle from reaching orbit. During the fairing separation event, the shock of the circumferential ordnance firing disconnected the cable carrying the signal to fire the longitudinal ordnance.


Athena II
Image Credit: NASA
Status: Retired
Liftoff Thrust: 1,900 kN
Payload to GTO: 593 kg
Stages: 4
Rocket Height: 28.2 m

Mission Details


Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, an operating unit of Missiles & Space, has revolutionized the space-based imagery market with the development of the first commercial satellite capable of resolving objects on the ground as small as one meter in diameter. The company is providing a spacecraft, designated IKONOS 1, for Space Imaging, Thornton, CO, which offers high-resolution imagery of the Earth to customers around the world.

These spacecraft utilize the LM-900 satellite bus, a three-axis stabilized platform. The main payload is a digital imaging sensor or 'camera' that responds to tasking requests from ground stations. Altitude and speed give it a wide field of view and the ability to capture large quantities of data very quickly. When combined with imagery from other satellite sources and aerial photography, the LM-900 enables Space Imaging to offer extremely high imagery resolution, image quality, information content, and fast delivery time to its customers.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 726.0 kg
Low Earth Orbit


SLC-6, Vandenberg SFB, California, USA



22nd orbital launch attempt

Athena II

2nd mission
1st mission of 1999
1st failed mission