California, USA, 18 April 2007: Globalstar announced that May 21, 2007 is the scheduled date for the first launch of four Globalstar first-generation ground spare satellites. These four satellites, together with four additional satellites will be used to augment the company’s current first-generation LEO (low earth orbit) satellite constellation.
Globalstar is investing over $110 million in the two launches, which are to be conducted by the Russian-European launch services company Starsem (Arianespace, Astrium, Roscosmos, Samara Space Center) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Globalstar will use Soyuz launch vehicle, which Starsem used to successfully launch twenty-four Globalstar satellites from Baikonur in 1999.
Globalstar plans to use its current constellation plus these additional eight first-generation satellites as it manages the transition through to the launch of the Globalstar II second-generation constellation, which is expected to begin in late 2009.
“Now that the launch team has arrived at the Cosmodrome, I would like to thank Starsem and its contractors as well as Space Systems/Loral, the prime contractor for the first generation satellites and their sub-contractor Thales Alenia Space for facilitating the smooth and flawless deliveries of the launch vehicle and the spacecraft,” said Megan Fitzgerald, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Space Operations for Globalstar, Ms. Fitzgerald added, “The team will now perform the preflight preparations needed prior to integrating the satellites with the launch vehicle.”
Mr. Jean-Yves Le Gall, Starsem and Arianespace Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, also noted his satisfaction, “With the arrival of the Globalstar satellites to Baikonur, joining the Soyuz launch vehicle from TsSKB-Samara, the Fregat upper stage from NPO-Lavotchkin and the satellites dispenser from Astrium, I am very pleased to welcome once again the entire Globalstar team to the Starsem launch facilities. We are proud to have the chance to perform Soyuz launches 7 and 8 for Globalstar and look forward to our continued participation in the Globalstar success.”