Globalstar Launches Four Replacement Satellites
Globalstar Inc. placed four satellites into orbit May 30 that are intended to augment the company’s failing first-generation constellation, the company announced.
The satellites were launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 2:31 a.m. local time aboard a Soyuz rocket operated by Starsem. Globalstar also plans to place four more replacement satellites into orbit within the next few months using another Starsem-operated Soyuz rocket.
In February, Globalstar warned customers that its satellite constellation is plagued by degraded performance, and that customers could begin to experience service loss as early as 2008. In December, the company awarded a contract to Thales Alenia Space for the construction of 48 satellites for the second-generation Globalstar constellation. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in summer 2009.
“Today is also a great day for Globalstar stockholders,” Jay Monroe, chairman and CEO of Globalstar, said in a statement. “Globalstar has invested approximately $120 million into the core satellite business in order to launch these four satellites plus the remaining four ground spares. Globalstar considers these eight satellites to represent the beginning of our next-generation constellation, because they will not only help bridge the gap today but last long into and seamlessly operate with our second-generation constellation.”