New York - September 11, 1998 - Globalstar announced today that a rocket malfunction has resulted in the loss of 12 Globalstar satellites launched yesterday on a Zenit 2 rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Preliminary data indicates there was a problem in the second stage of the rocket.
An investigation has commenced, although detailed results may not be available immediately.
The company is assessing its options relating to its future launch schedule and still intends to initiate commercial service before the end of 1999. Among the recovery alternatives previously put into place by Globalstar in the event of a launch failure are an acceleration of launches and launch options contracted for on Soyuz and Delta 2 rockets, and launch of additional satellites on the Zenit 2 pending satisfactory conclusion of the launch failure investigation.
To further mitigate the risk inherent in launches, Globalstar's plan calls for the construction of a total of 64 satellites, including eight in-orbit spares and eight ground spares. As a result, sufficient satellites will be available for the company to complete its 48-satellite constellation and commence service. An additional 14 satellites are at the launch base in Baikonur; 16 more are in final integration and test; and, the balance are under construction. The 12 satellites on yesterday's launch were fully insured.
The company's preliminary assessment, which may change as more information becomes available, is that Globalstar could resume its launch campaign aboard the Soyuz as early as November 1998. Each Soyuz rocket will launch four Globalstar satellites. Additional Soyuz and Delta 2 launches in 1998 and1999 would enable Globalstar to commence commercial service with a minimum of 32 satellites in orbit before the end of 1999.
Previous GlobalStar Reports from Spacer.Com
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