Boeing launched a Delta II from Cape Canaveral on 17 August, carrying four more Globalstar satellites into orbit. This latest launch brings to 17 the number of spacecraft launched on Deltas in 68 days - a record number of launches in such a period. The 17 satellites were 16 Globalstars and one NASA science craft.

The 17 August launch was the sixth for the Globalstar venture, which now has 36 spacecraft in orbit. The fully operational system will comprise 48 satellites and four in-orbit spares.

Other launches are being completed by the Euro-Russian Starsem organisation. Three launches will take place on Soyuz launch vehicles from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, in September, October and November.

The next Delta II launch is on 23 September. It will carry a US Air Force Navstar GPS 2R-3 navigation satellite. The launch of four more Globalstar satellites is tentatively planned for 7 December. The launch of three Iridium satellites on 21 October from Vandenberg AFB, California, is on hold.

The next flight of the Boeing Delta III will be attempted no earlier than 29 November, says Boeing. The booster's first two missions failed.

Source: Flight International