December 29, 2011
Soyuz Successfully Takes Satellite System To Orbit
A Russian Soyuz rocket launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, successfully carrying the Globalstar system into orbit.
The vehicle saw triumph after the Soyuz line faced a malfunction last Friday when launching from the Plesetsk spaceport in northern Russia.
"These satellites were flawlessly placed exactly where we needed them so that our ground stations could find them on the very first pass," Tony Navarra, Globalstar's president of global operations said in a statement. "It's amazing that we can find six satellites within 30 minutes of them being placed into space."
Investigations are still continuing the search for the cause of last Friday's launch failure, which saw the loss of a Russian Meridian telecommunications satellite.
The six satellites placed into orbit by Globalstar follows 12 others launched in July earlier this year and October last year.
The six Globalstar communications satellites separated in a two-step process, completing the deployment sequence.
The satellites are used by Globalstar's subscribers to place telephone calls and send data messages around the world.
Ground controllers will place each of the 1,543-pound satellites on separate trajectories to enter the Globalstar constellation.
Image Caption: Russian security officers walk along the railroad tracks as the Soyuz rocket is rolled out to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
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