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Four Globalstar satellites launched
Posted: Sun, Oct 21, 2007, 10:26 AM ET (1426 GMT)
Soyuz launch (Energia file photo) A Soyuz rocket placed four Globalstar communications satellites into low Earth orbit early Sunday. The Soyuz-Fregat lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:12 pm EDT Saturday (2012 GMT Saturday, 2:12 am local time Sunday) carrying four Globalstar satellites, which separated from the Fregat upper stage 102 minutes after liftoff. The four satellites will be used to augment the existing Globalstar constellation of over 40 satellites that provide global phone and data services. Four other replacement satellites were launched in May, also on a Soyuz. The eight new satellites are considered critical to Globalstar since the original satellites, launched between 1998 and 2000, are suffering from a design flaw that is degrading the performance of their communications payload. A new generation of Globalstar satellites is under development by Thales Alenia Space; the first of these satellites will be ready for launch on Soyuz rockets from Kourou, French Guiana starting in late 2009.
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