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Russian Soyuz rocket launches six US communications satellites

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The Soyuz rocket carrying the Globalstar satellites lifts off from Baikonur. An Arianespace photo

BAIKONUR (BNS): Russia’s Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket has successfully launched a constellation of six communications satellites for US-based mobile satellite phone and data services provider, Globalstar Inc.

The launch took place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 21.10 Moscow time (1710 GMT) on Tuesday.

The Soyuz rocket, equipped with a new Fregat upper stage booster, successfully placed all the Globalstar satellites into orbit, Russian space agency Roscosmos said. The spacecraft were deployed during a two-step process – with separation occurring at 1 hr. 38 min. and 1 hr. 40 min. into the mission.

The Globalstar is a low-Earth orbit satellite-based communications system built by the French-Italian manufacturer Thales Alenia Space (TAS).

The satellites, weighing 700 kg each, provide high-quality satellite voice and data services across North America, and to over 120 countries worldwide.

Globalstar Inc plans to put in orbit a total of 24 such satellites in the next few years.

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Soyuz  satellite  
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