A Boeing Delta II rocket delivered four Globalstar satellites to orbit today. The Delta II, which lifted off the pad at 12:37 a.m. EDT, brings the total number of Globalstar satellites on orbit to 36.
The successful launch and deployment of four Globalstar satellites today gives the Boeing Delta II program the industry record for the greatest number of satellites (17) launched within the shortest period of time, 68 days. The newly launched satellites join 12 Globalstar satellites and NASA's FUSE spacecraft that had been delivered to orbit with four Delta launches since June 10.
Boeing credits this achievement to process improvements that have reduced pad time, its dual launch pad capability at the Cape and its two separate launch teams - one of which was called in from its Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., site - to assist with the ambitious launch campaign.
"The U.S. launch industry as a whole has been taking a close look at its mission assurance processes and procedures," said Gale Schluter, vice president and general manager of Boeing Expendable Launch Systems. "This news is a bright spot - for Boeing and for the U.S. launch industry."
"We at Globalstar commend Boeing on this remarkable record," said Bernard L. Schwartz, chairman and chief executive officer of Globalstar. "For Globalstar, putting such a large satellite constellation into orbit has been an ambitious undertaking, but the success and reliability of the Boeing Delta II have helped to keep our own service launch plans right on schedule."
The Delta II is manufactured in Huntington Beach, Calif., with final assembly in Pueblo, Colo., and is powered by the RS-27A engine built by Boeing in Canoga Park, Calif. Alliant Techsystems, Magna, Utah, builds the graphite epoxy motors for boost assist. Aerojet, Sacramento, Calif., manufactures the second-stage engine; and AlliedSignal, Teterboro, N.J., builds the guidance and flight control system.
The Globalstar network is a planned constellation of 48 satellites orbiting at 764 nautical miles (1414 km) above the Earth that will supply global mobile telephony service.
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