Globalstar’s upcoming launch of six next-generation satellites aboard a Russian Soyuz 2.1a rocket, currently planned for mid-October, will be delayed while Russian space agency thoroughly inspects its fleet following a recent launch failure, the mobile satellite services provider announced Sept. 12.
An Aug. 24 launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan failed to put an unmanned Progress M-12M cargo vehicle destined for the International Space Station into the correct orbit, resulting in the spacecraft falling back to Earth.
Globalstar and launch services provider Arianespace of France are awaiting the outcome of Russia’s inspection before setting a new Soyuz launch date.
Covington, La.-based Globalstar has contracted for four Soyuz launches to carry six spacecraft each as the company deploys its second-generation satellite constellation. Arianespace has already conducted two successful launches aboard Soyuz rockets in October 2010 and July 2011. Two additional liftoffs are on tap in the coming months, including the delayed October mission.