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Four Satellites Launched By Russian Rocket

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Soyuz Launch Vehicle Places Four Satellites Into Orbit

The Starsem press release is reproduced below:

Starsem successfully launches four Globalstar satellites

Evry, October 21, 2007

Starsem successfully launched four Globalstar satellites for Globalstar, Inc., a leading provider of mobile satellite voice and data services to businesses, government, and individuals.

The Soyuz launch vehicle lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan right on schedule at 2:12 am local time on Sunday October 21 (8:12 pm UTC on Saturday October 20; 10:12 pm Paris time on Saturday October 20). It was the 1726th launch of a rocket from the Soyuz family, the 9th Soyuz mission in 2007 and the 19th successful Starsem launch.

Starsem and its Russian partners confirm that the Fregat upper stage accurately injected the four Globalstar satellites into the targeted low Earth orbit at 920 km altitude. Fregat was ignited twice to place the four satellites into orbit 1 hour, 42 minutes after lift-off. Satellites acquisition and health status will be confirmed independently by Globalstar Inc.

These satellites, together with four satellites successfully launched by Starsem last May will augment the current operating constellation through the launch of the Globalstar second generation satellites.

Beginning in 2009, Arianespace will perform the launch of the 24 Globalstar new constellation satellites using four Soyuz launch vehicles at Guiana Space Center (CSG).

With the introduction of Soyuz at CSG, this famed Russian medium-class launch vehicle becomes an integral part of the European launch vehicle fleet, together with the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and the lightweight Vega. To be offered to the commercial market, the Soyuz at CSG is Europe's reference medium-class launch vehicle for governmental and commercial missions.

Starsem is the Soyuz Company, bringing together all key players involved in the production, operation and international commercial marketing of the world's most versatile launch vehicle. Shareholders in Starsem are Arianespace, Astrium, the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Samara Space Center.

The Starsem manifest for the coming months includes the launch of the Radarsat-2 observation satellite and the launch of the Giove-B satellite.

Source: Starsem Press Release

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October 21, 2007

Starsem orbits four more satellites to augment the Globalstar constellation

Arianespace's Starsem affiliate performed its 12th consecutive successful flight today, utilizing a workhorse Soyuz launcher to orbit four more spacecraft for Globalstar's satellite constellation.

Following an on-time departure from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2:12 a.m. local time, the Soyuz accurately injected its Globalstar satellite cluster into the targeted 920-km. low Earth orbit. It was the 1,726th launch of a Soyuz family vehicle, and the 9th Soyuz flight in 2007.


Starsem's Soyuz launcher climbs out during its early morning departure from Kazakhstan's

Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Photo: Roscosmos

"This success was made possible thanks to the reliable Soyuz, whose flawless performance enabled today's launch," said Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Starsem and Arianespace. "Once again, we have demonstrated that Soyuz is an extremely reliable launcher and definitely a very strong partner of the satellite operators!"

Globalstar was Starsem's first customer, and this latest mission was the eighth Soyuz flight performed for the California-based provider of mobile satellite voice and data services. Six Starsem launches in 1999 lofted a total 24 Globalstar satellites – one-half of the original constellation. They were followed by a mission last May with four more spacecraft. Today's success provided the additional four satellites to augment Globalstar's constellation through the introduction of its second-generation satellites.

The Globalstar/Soyuz launch services relationship will continue, as Globalstar recently signed with Arianespace to launch all of its second-generation satellites beginning in 2009. For these future missions, Soyuz will be operated from its new launch site at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, with each of four vehicles carrying a cluster of six satellites per mission. Globalstar also reserved options for four more Soyuz flights, enabling it to add a second batch of 24 satellites to the new constellation

During today's mission, the Starsem launch vehicle's Fregat upper stage was ignited twice, positioning it for deployment of the dispenser-mounted Globalstar satellites beginning at 1 hr. 42 min. after liftoff. The dispenser's top-mounted spacecraft was released first, followed 2 min. 30 sec. later by other the three satellites – which had been installed vertically around the dispenser's center post.

With this latest flight, the Arianespace launcher family continues its sustained mission rate in 2007. In addition Starsem's two missions with the medium-lift Soyuz from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Arianespace's heavyweight Ariane 5 has flown four times this year from Europe's Spaceport, orbiting eight telecommunications satellites. Two more Ariane 5 launches are planned before year-end, carrying an additional four payloads.

Starsem will continue its launch activity in the coming months with a manifest that includes orbiting Canada's Radarsat-2 observation satellite and the Europen Giove-B navigation spacecraft.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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They keep launching them the way they are (all countries with satellite launching capabilities) they'll have to start considering traffic lights up there soon enough Waspie lol!

Don't know if anyones seen it already but i found this cool site a while back, kinda like googley googley google earth only in reversal, 'real time' satellite tracking...

NASA - Science@NASA ''Satellite Tracking''

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The present and future for Soyuz come together at Starsem's latest successful launch

October 22, 2007

A delegation from the Soyuz launcher's future home in French Guiana visited the existing launch site at Baikonur Cosmodrome this weekend, where invitees witnessed the successful Starsem mission that orbited four Globalstar satellites.


The Starsem Soyuz launcher with four Globalstar satellites

provides a backdrop for this group photo of the French Guiana

delegation at Baikonur Cosmodrome.

(Click on the image for a larger version.)

The trip provided local and national elected officials from French Guiana, along with managers from the Guiana Space Center, a first-hand look at the workhorse medium-lift vehicle - which will begin operations from its new launch pad in 2009, joining Arianespace's heavy-lift Ariane 5.

"This was an excellent opportunity for leaders from French Guiana to see the Soyuz in operation as a preview to the future, when this highly capable launcher will enter service at Europe's Spaceport," said Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman & CEO of Arianespace and Starsem.

Delegation attendees included mayors and staff members from the French Guiana cities of Kourou, Sinnamary and Cayenne; two deputies to the French National Assembly; presidents of the regional and general councils, the Préfecture of Guyane, and the director of the Guiana Space Center.

The delegation made a stopover in Samara, Russia to tour the Soyuz production facility at the TsSKB-Progress Samara Space Center. It continued to Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome for a visit of Soyuz launch pad no. 6, where the vehicle for Starsem's October 21 mission was awaiting its liftoff. The delegation then witnessed the successful Starsem launch, which placed its four 450-kg. Globalstar satellites into the targeted low-Earth orbit.

Construction of the new Soyuz launch site in French Guiana is well advanced as the facility takes shape. Its launch pad is patterned after those at Baikonur Cosmodrome - where Soyuz ushered in the space age 50 years ago, while certain infrastructure elements are being adapted to the Spaceport's specific commercial and operational requirements.

Source: Arianespace - Features

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