updated 12:45 p.m. 9.Nov.98.PST
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Globalstar Launch Delayed
Wired News Report
9:05 a.m. 9.Nov.98.PST
A satellite industry trade newspaper reports that a plan to launch ***4*** Globalstar satellites aboard **a***Russian Soyuz rocket later this month could be held up by a delay in an agreement between the two countries.
The snag, reported in Space News, centers around friction between Russian military officials and company executives. The Russians are demanding the right to inspect American satellites before they are launched from Baikonur, an active military base.
Company officials at Globalstar ***said they didn't anticipate problems with the agreement, but conceded that if the two countries don't resolve the agreement, they will not meet the planned late November to early December launch window.
Globalstar is a low-earth-orbiting (LEO) satellite-based digital telecommunications system that backers hope will offer wireless telephone and other telecommunications services worldwide beginning in late 1999***James, this is a correction--originally reported as late 1998***. On 10 September, the company lost 12 satellites in a single rocket explosion at the same Russian base in Baikonur. ***Spokesman John Cunningham said this disaster encouraged Globalstar o cut back on the number of satellites per rocket. Now each rocket carries four satellites. ***The company plans to launch a total of 52 rockets between the end of november and late 1999.***
The Globalstar project aims to provide low cost, high quality telephony and other digital telecommunications services such as data transmission, paging, facsimile, and position location to areas that are not served by existing wireline and cellular telecommunications systems.
The Space News article said that the US government has stopped approving US satellite launches aboard Russian rockets until a new agreement is signed. The dispute could hold up the planned launch of four satellites ***this originally said 24 rockets****.
Led by Loral Space & Communications, Globalstar is a partnership of telecommunications service providers and equipment manufacturers, and includes Qualcomm, AirTouch Communications, Alcatel, Alenia, DACOM, Daimler-Benz Aerospace, Elsag Bailey, France Telecom, Hyundai, Space Systems/Loral, and Vodafone.
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