Globalstar, announced that 6 new second-generation Globalstar satellites were successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Globalstar satellites were launched on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 11:09:02 p.m. local Baikonur time (5:09 p.m. UTC & 12:09 p.m. EDT) using the Soyuz-Fregat version of the Soyuz launch vehicle. There have been more than 1780 successful launches 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 & release from the satellite dispenser. Globalstar has initiated satellite in-orbit testing & all six spacecraft are operating normally at this time.
"It is with great pleasure that we announce the successful third launch & continued deployment of our second-generation constellation," said Tony Navarra, President of Global Operations for Globalstar, Inc. "We are now only one launch away from completing our four second-generation satellite launches & we look forward to the future services our new constellation will support. With these six new satellites now safely in orbit, we once again congratulate & applaud all of our Globalstar employees world-wide & 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 & delivery of its second-generation constellation satellites. A total of four launches of six satellites each are being conducted by launch services provider Arianespace. The first launch was conducted in October 2010 & the second launch was completed in July of this year.
The Globalstar second-generation satellite constellation is designed to support the Company's current lineup of voice, Duplex & Simplex data products & 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 & the second-generation satellites are deployed, Globalstar expects to provide the world's finest quality mobile satellite voice & fastest mobile satellite h&set data services to 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 & retail consumer customers around the globe.