Early Thursday morning six Orbcomm satellites were successfully launched from Kapustin Yar in Russia. The satellites have separated from the launch vehicle and are in the proper orbit. In-orbit testing is underway and the satellites should enter commercial service within the next three months.
A Coast Guard bird and five Quick Launch satellites will be positioned to augment the existing Orbcomm constellation and will provide additional capacity and improved message delivery speeds for current and future Orbcomm users. The satellites are equipped with Automatic Identification System (AIS) payloads that will allow them to be used for ship tracking and other navigational activities.
“This is an important step for us and our customers,” said Marc Eisenberg, Orbcomm CEO. “With the successful launch of these six new satellites, we expect to both improve the quality of our service and enter the AIS data services business. The AIS capability onboard these satellites make ORBCOMM the only company capable of providing space based worldwide commercial AIS data services.”
Orbcomm’s Space Segment Vice President Tony Robinson said, “We are pleased with the efficiency and thoroughness of the launch operation. The Russian Space Forces, OHB-System, Polyot, and ROSCOSMOS provided superior support in helping us to launch these satellites.”
Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.
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