MILPITAS, Calif., Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ — Globalstar, the world’s most
widely used handheld satellite phone provider and a leading supplier of
high-value satellite voice and data services to business, confirmed today that
it has received US State Department approval to proceed with its plans to
procure launch services for up to eight spare satellites with launches
scheduled to begin in early 2007.
Globalstar also confirmed that it has executed a contract with Starsem,
provider of the Soyuz launch vehicle. The Globalstar agreement with Starsem
confirms that the provider will conduct at least one launch of Globalstar
spare satellites with an option for one additional launch. Starsem has
successfully conducted six previous Globalstar launches using the reliable
Soyuz launch vehicle. Like the previous launches, the Globalstar spare
satellites will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Globalstar has also signed a contract with Eurockot, provider of the
Rockot launch vehicle. The Rockot vehicle launches from the Plesetsk
Cosmodrome, located in Northern Russia.
Satellites launched by the Soyuz will be placed into an interim phasing
orbit at an altitude of 920 km to be available for replenishment throughout
the satellite constellation. Individual satellites launched by Rockot may be
placed almost directly into the operational altitude of 1414 km.
“Satellite launches are a complex and lengthy undertaking. The government
approvals and the early signing of our vendors means that we can remain on
track to launch Globalstar’s eight spare satellites in the first half of 2007
— as planned.” said Jay Monroe, chairman and CEO of Globalstar LLC. “We are
also pleased to renew our relationship with Starsem, who launched 24 of the
existing satellites in the Globalstar constellation.”
The Globalstar constellation continues to function as designed, delivering
industry-leading voice quality and data throughput. The availability of
orbital spares will ensure that all parts of the Globalstar network remain
robust and reliable as demand for Globalstar’s satellite voice and data
services continues to grow.
These agreements add to the growing list of announcements made by
Globalstar in 2005. In addition to a variety of new products and services
launched in the past 10 months, Globalstar also continues to take steps to
enhance its ground and space based operations and network. Earlier this year,
Globalstar opened a new gateway ground station in Sebring, Florida, to enhance
voice and data services in the Caribbean, and the company began construction
of a new Satellite Gateway in Wasilla, Alaska scheduled to open in spring
2006. Globalstar has also announced the purchase of several simplex data
gateway appliques as well as a new $140 million agreement with QUALCOMM to
ensure the manufacture and supply of satellite voice and data handsets.
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