MOSCOW, February 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will launch on Tuesday a Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrying six Globalstar-2 telecommunications satellites from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.
“The launch from Baikonur is scheduled for 08.20 pm Moscow time [16:20 GMT] on February 5,” a Roscosmos spokesman said on Monday. “The separation of the first two satellites from a Fregat booster is expected at 09.59 pm [17:59 GMT], while the remaining four will separate at 10.00 pm [20:00 GMT].”
Globalstar is a low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite-based telecommunications system founded by US-based Loral Corporation and Qualcomm Inc. It provides high-quality satellite voice and data services across North America, and to over 120 countries worldwide.
With the launch of six satellites on Tuesday, Globalstar grouping will consist of 24 second-generation Globalstar-2 satellites and eight first-generation satellites.
The first six second-generation satellites were orbited in October 2010. Another 12 were put into orbit in 2011.
Globalstar-2 satellites, manufactured by Thales Alenia Space, carry 16 C-band and S-band transponders and have a service life of 15 years, twice that of Globalstar’s first-generation satellites.
Globalstar Inc., in association with Arianespace, has previously completed 11 launches utilizing the Soyuz carrier rocket, which is credited with more than 1,795 successful launches to date.