Thursday, December 29, 2011

Russians ditch problem stage, launch GlobalStars

GlobalStar navigation satellites in production.

After last week's launch failure, Russia has replaced its malfunctioning third stage on the Soyuz rocket with ArianneSpace's Fregat orbital stage. On Wednesday Russia launched 6 GlobalStar navigational position satellites into orbit successfully. This is the third set of 6 launched for the system, replacing an old and failing system. The happy launch also brings relief to Russian space managers, although they still have to investigate the cause of the Russian third stage failures.

China also added to the vast assembly of satellites in orbit with the launch of a "Compass" GPS satellite. Ten of the system's satellites are already in orbit, and six more are scheduled. Their goal is to compete with the USA's GPS system.

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