Final First Generation Globalstar Satellites Launched
[10-22-07 – Satellite Today] Four Globalstar Inc. satellites were launched Oct. 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, using the Soyuz-Fregat version of the Soyuz launch vehicle, Globalstar announced Oct. 22.
The four satellites, along with four satellites launched in May, will augment the 40-satellite constellation, providing satellite voice and data service through the launch of the second-generation constellation, which begins in 2009. The first generation satellites are suffering from S-Band antenna problems, and customers could start to experience a loss of service, Globalstar warned earlier this year.
Launch provider Starsem confirmed that the Fregat upper stage accurately injected the four-satellite dispenser into the targeted low earth orbit of approximately 920 km. The four satellites were all successfully acquired by Globalstar following separation of the upper stage and release from the dispenser.
"Globalstar has invested approximately $120 million to launch these four satellites plus the four satellites launched earlier this year,”said Tony Navarra, president of global operations for Globalstar. "We consider 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. We are also pleased that we will continue to use the reliable Soyuz launch vehicle when we resume our Globalstar launches with our second-generation spacecraft in 2009.”