First batch of six second-generation Globalstar satellites built by Thales Alenia Space now in orbit
Cannes, October 19, 2010 -- The first six satellites in the Globalstar-2 second-generation constellation, built by Thales Alenia Space, were successfully launched today by Arianespace and Starsem on a Soyuz launcher from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:00 pm local time (7:00 pm in Paris).
Globalstar chose Thales Alenia Space to design and deliver 48 second-generation low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that will provide mobile satellite voice and data services. The other satellites in the Globalstar-2 constellation are now under construction at Thales Alenia Space facilities in France and Italy. The payloads are built in Toulouse; the thermal subsystems and structures in Cannes; part of the side panels in Turin; several payload electronics units are developed and manufactured in L’Aquila and Madrid, which also produces passive microwave devices; the L-band antennas are produced in Rome and the onboard computer (OBPE) and part of the GPS receiver in Milan. Thales Alenia Space is also responsible for launch support services.
The new constellation will ensure service continuity for Globalstar beyond 2025, as well as providing a platform for an expanded service offering, based on innovative solutions.
Each second-generation Globalstar satellite weighs about 700 kg at launch, offers end-of-life power of 1.7 kW and a design life of 15 years, and is fitted with 16 C- to S-band transponders, and 16 L- to C-band receivers. The following satellites will also be launched in batches of six at a time.
“The launch of the first six satellites in this new constellation is of course a major milestone for both Thales Alenia Space and our customer Globalstar, since it marks the service entry of their second-generation system,” said Emmanuel Grave, Executive Vice President for Telecom activities at Thales Alenia Space. “We are extremely proud of our role in this ambitious program, and we hope that it will be an outstanding success. This milestone also clearly demonstrates our company’s leadership in constellations, based on proven expertise in system design and telecommunications technologies.”
Thales Alenia Space played a major role in Globalstar’s first-generation program, as supplier of the satellite payloads, structures, propulsion and thermal subsystems, and electronics units, as well as systems integration for the entire constellation, including the construction and delivery of the additional eight satellites launched in mid-2007.
About Thales Alenia Space
European leader in satellite systems and a major player in orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio embody the two groups’ “Space Alliance”. Thales Alenia Space sets the global standard in solutions for space telecoms, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. The company, which achieved revenues of Euro 2 billion in 2009, has a total of 7,200 employees located in 9 industrial sites in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
Thales Alenia Space Press Contacts
Florence Pontieux - Tel: +33 (0)1 57 77 91 26
Sandrine Bielecki - Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94
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