Globalstar just announced that the deployment of the Globalstar second generation constellation is close to completion with the planning of an early February launch. This fourth launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and the deployment of the satellites will allow Globalstar customers to have high quality and reliable service that they experienced in the past.
Three launches are complete, giving Globalstar users significantly improved service and reliability with the industries best call clarity, fastest handheld satellite phone data speeds and the most affordable service. As of the date of this article Globalstar users in North America are experiencing an average of 87% coverage with a higher percentage in the northern United States. It is expected Globalstar service will be up to full service by spring of 2013.
Globalstar’s Space Operations Team will be very busy for the next few weeks as the fourth launch begins. Thales Alenia Space that has manufactured the Globalstar satellites has confirmed the six satellites will be shipped by the end of October. This will allow pre-launch preparations to begin at the Cosmodrome in early February. With an early launch in February, Globalstar will be able to place two of the six satellites into service immediately after launch.
Globalstar has also announced that five of the six satellites from the last launch have been placed into service as of September 29th. The sixth satellite has already been placed in its orbit and is waiting to receive a software upgrade to fix a momentum wheel issue found on the first satellites. Globalstar expects to receive this software upgrade by October.
Joy Monroe, Chairman and CEO of Globalstar said, "Since Globalstar embarked on a mission to be the first MSS provider to launch a second-generation LEO constellation, nothing about this process has been quick or easy. After 6 long years, we are proud to report that the finish line is within reach. Although the deployment of our new constellation with its improved design and capabilities has had its challenges, we can finally look forward to the long-term reliable service the new constellation will provide to our customers. We thank all of our partners for their tireless effort and our customers and distributors for their patience and support throughout the project."