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Satellite for US Cell Phone Launched

Thu, 07/02/2009 - 8:59am
The Associated Press -- The world's largest commercial satellite is in space providing phone service to cellular "dead zones" in North America.

The satellite, owned by TerreStar Corp. of Reston, Va., blasted off from Kourou in French Guiana, shortly before 2 p.m. Eastern time. It was carried by a French Ariane-5 rocket.

The satellite weighs 6.9 metric tons, about the same as a school bus. In orbit 22,000 miles above the Earth, it will unfurl an umbrella-like antenna of gold mesh 60 feet across. TerreStar hopes to have it working before the end of the year.

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