A Boeing (BA: NYSE) Delta II successfully delivered the second set of four satellites of the Globalstar network after lifting off at 6:38 p.m. EDT.
The satellites, built by Space Systems/Loral, will provide voice, data, fax and other telecommunications services to users worldwide beginning in 1999. The completed satellite constellation will consist of 48 satellites in low-Earth orbit.
Today's launch represents the fifth successful Delta launch this year, carrying a total of 19 satellites to orbit. A Delta II also launched the first four Globalstar satellites on Feb. 14.
"With this launch we have completed our commitment to build the cornerstone of the constellation," said Darryl Van Dorn, Boeing director of NASA and Commercial Delta Programs. "The superb team effort between Boeing, Globalstar and Space Systems/Loral contributed to the launch's success."
The Delta II is manufactured by Boeing in Huntington Beach, Calif., with final assembly in Pueblo, Colo. Delta's major subcontractors include: Rocketdyne, a division of the Boeing Company, Canoga Park, Calif., Alliant Techsystems, Magna, Utah; Aerojet, Sacramento, Calif.; and Allied Signal, Teterboro, N.J.
In mid-1998, the Delta III inaugural launch of Galaxy X is scheduled for Hughes. The Delta III has a payload capacity of 8,400 pounds to geosynchronous transfer orbit, more than twice the capacity of the Delta II.
Hughes Space and Communications Co. has signed a contract for 13 launches and Space Systems/Loral has contracted for five launches aboard the Delta III.