The GlobalStar constellation called for 48 satellites (and eight in-orbit spares) at an altitude of 1,000 kilometres in eight orbital planes inclined at 52 degrees to the equator. The design was for "repeaters in the sky'' with switching on the ground. Each of the 450-kilogram satellites would have 16 channels with a simultaneous capacity of 64,000 calls. Whereas Iridium sought the top 1 per cent of the global paging and cellular telephone markets, GlobalStar was aiming to route calls within nations, so the two companies were in different segments of the market.14 GlobalStar confidently predicted revenues of $1.6 billion by 2002 from 2.7 million subscribers, and to increase its subscriptions to 16 million over the next decade.15 In May 1995 Space Systems/Loral, which was building the satellites for GlobalStar, booked 36 of them with Yuzhnoye for launch from Baikonur by Zenit 2.16 They were to be carried in batches of 12, in three tiers of four, and deployed in sequence by a dispenser that had originally been developed to enable intercontinental-range ballistic missiles to deliver multiple independently targeted warheads.
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