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Integration Of Six Globalstar Satellites Is Complete

by Staff Writers
Paris, France (SPX) Oct 04, 2010
All six Globalstar satellites for the upcoming Soyuz flight from Baikonur Cosmodrome have been integrated on their dispenser system, marking a new milestone in this key mission to be performed October 19 for Arianespace by its Starsem affiliate.

The second-generation Globalstar spacecraft were installed in sequence on the two segments of this 6.7-meter-high conical-shaped dispenser, which then were assembled together on September 29.

These new 700-kg.-class satellites are larger and heavier than the first-generation platforms in Globalstar's orbital constellation, which provides mobile satellite voice and data services. A total of 32 first-generation satellites were launched by Starsem on eight Soyuz flights from 1999 to 2007, with those missions lofting four of the 450-kg. spacecraft each.

The new dispenser that will make its debut during the October 19 launch is evolved from the system used on previous missions, and is produced in two segments.

A pair of Globalstar satellites is mounted on the dispenser's upper segment, with both to be released at 98.6 minutes into the flight. The other four payloads are installed on the lower section, and will be deployed simultaneously 1.67 minutes later.

Arianespace designed the Soyuz dispenser system, which is produced by Astrium and weighs 630 kg. Its two conical sections are manufactured in composite materials, with aluminum rings positioned at the bottom, middle and top that contain attach points for the satellites.

Stephane Mespoulet, Arianespace's project manager for the dispenser, said the integration of all six second-generation satellites went smoothly in the payload preparation facilities at Baikonur Cosmodrome. Completion of the satellite installation allows the dispenser and its payloads to be mated atop Soyuz' Fregat upper stage next week.

Globalstar has contracted four Soyuz launches to carry six of its second-generation satellites each, further building the company's constellation with these 24 new spacecraft.

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