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Space

Russia to launch four U.S. satellites on Oct. 21

RIA Novosti

15/10/2007 14:31 MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will launch four U.S. Globalstar satellites into orbit on board a Soyuz-FG carrier rocket from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on October 21, Russia's space agency said on Monday.

The Federal Space Agency has brought forward the launch, which was originally scheduled for October 25.

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

Commercial launches of Soyuz carrier rockets are managed by Starsem, a European-Russian joint venture, which comprises EADS SPACE, Arianespace, the Russian Federal Space Agency, and the Samara-based Progress design and production center.

Created in 1996, Starsem offers Soyuz rockets for a broad range of mission needs, including satellite telecommunications systems, scientific spacecraft, and Earth observation meteorological platforms.

The current Globalstar orbital constellation comprises 48 LEO satellites, with an additional four satellites in orbit as spares.

Each Globalstar satellite consists of an antenna, a trapezoidal body, two solar arrays and a magnetometer, and operates at an altitude of 1,414km (876 miles). The service life of a Globalstar satellite is over seven years.



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