Globalstar, Inc., a leading provider of mobile satellite voice and data services to businesses, government, and individuals, and Starsem, the Soyuz Company today announced that four Globalstar satellites were successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, using the Soyuz launch vehicle.
These satellites, together with the additional four ground spare satellites due to be launched shortly, will augment the current operating constellation and improve the Globalstar quality of two-way voice and data service through the launch of the second generation satellite constellation.
The Globalstar satellites were launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, May 30 at 2:31 am local time (20:31 UTC and 1:31 pm May 29 in California), using the Soyuz-Fregat version of the Soyuz launch vehicle. This is the 1721st successful launch of the Soyuz family rocket.
Starsem confirmed that the upper stage accurately injected the four satellite dispenser into the targeted low Earth orbit of 920 km at 4:18 am local time (22:18 UTC and 3:18 pm May 29 in California). Globalstar reports that all four satellites have been successfully acquired following separation of the Fregat upper stage and release from the satellite dispenser. While Globalstar is continuing to perform initial satellite in-orbit tests, the performance of all four spacecraft is nominal at this time.
“We are absolutely ecstatic about this success and pleased to make this announcement,” said Jay Monroe, Chairman & CEO of Globalstar, Inc. “We applaud all of our Globalstar employees world-wide who have worked tirelessly to make this day a reality. We also thank our proven launch services provider Starsem as well as the prime contractor for the first generation satellites, Space Systems Loral, and sub-contractor Thales Alenia Space for this launch success.
Mr. Monroe added, “Today is also a great day for Globalstar stockholders. 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.”
In December 2006, Globalstar signed a EURO 661 million (approximately $865 million) contract with Thales Alenia Space for the design, manufacture and delivery of 48 new satellites for the second-generation Globalstar satellite constellation, with deliveries scheduled to begin in the summer of 2009. The satellites are being designed to provide service until at least 2025.
Mr. Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman & CEO of Starsem expressed his satisfaction. “I would like to extend my congratulations to Mr. Jay Monroe, Chairman & CEO of Globalstar, and to thank Mr. Monroe for the confidence he has shown in Starsem and the Soyuz launcher. The work of Starsem and its Russian partners though is not yet finished and we look forward to our next launch for Globalstar later this summer.”
Thales Alenia Space is completing the necessary tests on the remaining four first-generation satellites at its facility in Rome, Italy. These satellites will then be shipped to the launch complex in Baikonur for final pre-launch preparations.
About Globalstar, Inc.
With over 250,000 activated satellite voice and data units, Globalstar offers satellite services to commercial and recreational users in more than 120 countries around the world. The Company’s voice and data products include mobile and fixed satellite telephones, simplex and duplex satellite data modems and flexible service packages. Many land based and maritime industries benefit from Globalstar with increased productivity from remote areas beyond cellular and landline service. Global customer segments include: oil and gas, government, mining, forestry, commercial fishing, utilities, military, transportation, heavy construction, emergency preparedness, and business continuity as well as individual recreational users. Globalstar data solutions are ideal for various asset tracking, data monitoring and SCADA applications.
For more information regarding Globalstar, please visit Globalstar’s web site at www.globalstar.com
Starsem is the Soyuz Company, bringing together all key players involved in the production, operation and international commercial marketing of the world’s most versatile launch vehicle. Shareholders in Starsem are Arianespace, EADS-Astrium, the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Samara Space Center.