Russia set to orbit six US telecoms satellites

MOSCOW. February 5. KAZINFORM Russia will launch on Tuesday a Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrying six Globalstar-2 telecommunications satellites from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.

"The launch from Baikonur is scheduled for 08.20 pm Moscow time [16:20 GMT] on February 5," a Roscosmos spokesman said on Monday. "The separation of the first two satellites from a Fregat booster is expected at 09.59 pm [17:59 GMT], while the remaining four will separate at 10.00 pm [20:00 GMT]."

Globalstar is a low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite-based telecommunications system founded by US-based Loral Corporation and Qualcomm Inc. It provides high-quality satellite voice and data services across North America, and to over 120 countries worldwide.

With the launch of six satellites on Tuesday, Globalstar grouping will consist of 24 second-generation Globalstar-2 satellites and eight first-generation satellites.

The first six second-generation satellites were orbited in October 2010. Another 12 were put into orbit in 2011.

Globalstar-2 satellites, manufactured by Thales Alenia Space, carry 16 C-band and S-band transponders and have a service life of 15 years, twice that of Globalstar's first-generation satellites.

Globalstar Inc., in association with Arianespace, has previously completed 11 launches utilizing the Soyuz carrier rocket, which is credited with more than 1,795 successful launches to date.

RIA Novosti

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