Starsem launched another four Globalstar mobile communications satellites on a Soyuz Ikar booster from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on 22 November. There are 48 Globalstar satellites in space and a final launch of four by a Delta II in January will complete the constellation, with four in-orbit spares available.

Replacements will be launched as necessary to maintain the operational constellation. There have been six Starsem Globalstar launches this year, placing 24 satellites into orbit. Starsem has one more launch to be scheduled as and when replacements are required.

Starsem, comprising Aerospatiale Matra, Arianespace, the Russian Aviation and Space Agency and Samara Space Centre, is preparing a Soyuz launch for early next year to test fly a Fregat upper stage. The Fregat will be used for European Space Agency launches - two each of two Cluster II satellites and one of the Mars Express.

Source: Flight International