Globalstar has announced that six new second-generation Globalstar satellites were successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, using the Soyuz launch vehicle.
The Globalstar satellites were launched on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 8:27 a.m. local time (2:27 a.m. UTC and 10:27 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 12, 2011), using the Soyuz-Fregat version of the Soyuz launch vehicle. This is the 1774th successful launch of the Soyuz family launch vehicle.
Launch services provider Arianespace confirmed that the upper stage accurately injected the six second-generation satellites into the targeted low earth orbit of approximately 920 km. Globalstar reports that all six satellites have been successfully acquired following separation of the Fregat Upper Stage and release from the satellite dispenser. Globalstar has initiated satellite in-orbit testing and the performance of all six spacecraft is nominal at this time.
“It is with great pleasure that we announce the successful second launch and continued deployment of our second-generation satellites and we look forward to the future services the constellation will support,” said Tony Navarra, President of Global Operations for Globalstar, Inc. “With these six new satellites now safely in orbit, we once again congratulate and applaud all of our Globalstar employees world-wide and thank launch provider Arianespace as well as our satellite contractor Thales Alenia Space for this launch success.”
Globalstar signed a contract with satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space in late 2006 for the design, manufacture and delivery of its second-generation constellation satellites. A total of four launches of six satellites each will be conducted by launch services provider Arianespace.
The Globalstar second-generation satellite constellation is designed to support the Company’s current lineup of voice, Duplex and Simplex data products and services including its lineup of SPOT retail consumer products. The new satellites are designed to last for 15 years, twice the lifespan of Globalstar‘s first generation satellites.
Once the four launches are complete and the second-generation satellite constellation is fully deployed, Globalstar expects to provide the world’s finest quality mobile satellite voice and fastest mobile satellite handset data services to commercial and government customers in more than 120 countries. Combined with its affordable suite of consumer retail SPOT products, Globalstar expects to offer the world’s most extensive lineup of high quality mobile satellite services to the broadest range of commercial and retail consumer customers around the globe.