A Boeing Delta II booster placed four more Globalstar satellites into orbit on 8 February after lift-off from Cape Canaveral.

One will become the 48th and final craft in the operating constellation for the Space Systems/ Loral-led worldwide global mobile communications system. The other three will be in-orbit spares.

Globalstar services will be rolled out progressively worldwide, says Globalstar chairman Bernard Schwartz. An interim service was introduced in Brazil and Mexico in October.

Delta IIs have launched 28 Globalstars, while Soyuz boosters, operated by Starsem, have launched 24. Replacements will be launched when required, using Delta IIs and Soyuz. These are not anticipated until 2002, however, since the in-orbit performance of the satellites has increased their predicted lifetime from seven-and-a-half to 10 years. No Globalstars have suffered failures to date.

Source: Flight International