MOSCOW, December 29 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket orbited six American Globalstar satellites on Wednesday, December 28.
The upgraded liquid-propellant three-stage medium-class carrier rocket Soyuz-2 was designed and made by the Samara-based State Research and Production Space-Rocket Centre TsSKB-Progress. Soyuz rockets are marketed by the Russian-French joint venture Starsem. It used this carrier rocket for the third time to launch Globalstar satellites. Previously Soyuz-U and Soyuz-FG rockets were used for this purpose. Each orbited four satellites.
Starsem is the Soyuz company, dedicated to providing commercial launch services with the reliable and proven Soyuz family of launch vehicles.
The European-Russian organization brings together all key players involved in the production and operation of Soyuz and is responsible for international sales of the world's most versatile launch vehicle.
Created in 1996, Starsem offers the Soyuz for a broad range of mission needs, including satellite telecommunications systems, scientific spacecraft, and Earth observation / meteorological platforms.
Starsem provides each customer a true turnkey service, from manufacture of the launch vehicle to mission preparations at the Baikonur Cosmodrome and successful in-orbit delivery of payloads.
Globalstar is a low Earth orbit satellite constellation for satellite phone and low-speed data communications. With over 315,000 subscribers (as of June 2008), Globalstar is the world’s largest provider of mobile satellite voice and data services. Globalstar offers these services to commercial and recreational users in more than 120 countries around the world.
The company's products include mobile and fixed satellite telephones, simplex and duplex satellite data modems and satellite airtime packages.
Globalstar is replacing first-generation satellites with second-generation ones. He first six Globalstar-2satellites were launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, in October 2010 and the second six in July 2011. They are designed to operate for 15 years, twice as long as the present ones.