February 07, 2013
Globalstar Completes Second-Generation Constellation
By Doug Mohney, Contributing Editor
Globalstar (News - Alert) now has six new satellites in orbit, filling out its second-generation constellation of 24 satellites. Now, all it has to do is win back old customers and find new ones.
The six Globalstar satellites were launched onboard a Russian Soyuz rocket at 11:04 AM February 6, 2013 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Launch provider Arianespace (News - Alert) confirmed that the Fregat upper stage accurately put the six second-generation satellites into their targeted low earth orbits of around 920 kilometers, Globalstar has confirmed all six satellites were successfully contacted following separation from the upper stage and has begun initial in-orbit testing. All six spacecraft are confirmed operating as normal at this time.
With 24 new satellites in orbit, Globastar now has a completely new network replacing its defective first- generation satellites. Some of the company's initial 24 satellites launched between 1999 and 2001 suffered an "anomaly" on the communications antenna S-band amplifiers, resulting in degraded performance. The problem affected both two-way voice and data service, causing a delay in establishing calls and limiting the duration of calls as satellites affected with the problem passed overhead... Read More