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Soyuz launches Globalstar satellites
Posted: Wed, Oct 20, 2010, 8:17 AM ET (1217 GMT)
Soyuz 2 launch of first 6 Globalstar-2 satellites (Arianespace) A Soyuz rocket successfully launched the first of a new generation of communications satellites for Globalstar late Tuesday. The Soyuz 2-1A lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:10 pm EDT (1710 GMT, 11:10 pm local time) Tuesday, carrying six Globalstar-2 satellites; the Fregat upper stage released the satellites into low Earth orbit an hour and 40 minutes later. The satellites, weighing 650 kilograms each, were built by Thales Alenia Space for US-based mobile satellite communications company Globalstar to replace its existing fleet of satellites. Those original satellites, launched over a decade ago, have suffered transponder problems that prevent them from relaying phone signals. Three more Soyuz launches, each also carrying six new Globalstar satellites, are planned for the first half of 2011.
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