O3b Networks’ four satellites are integrated on Soyuz for Arianespace’s next mission from French Guiana
The fifth Soyuz to be launched from French Guiana is now complete following the integration of its upper composite consisting of four O3b Networks satellites, their protective payload fairing and the Fregat upper stage.
This activity was performed at the Spaceport’s ELS launch complex near the town of Sinnamary, beginning with the composite’s transfer on a special transporter, followed by hoisting to the upper level of a purpose-built mobile gantry.
Final checkout of the Soyuz is now underway, leading to the Arianespace liftoff planned on Monday, June 24 at precisely 3:53:51 p.m., local time in French Guiana.
The cluster of four O3b Networks satellites to be orbited on Arianespace’s upcoming flight will initiate the creation of a next-generation satellite network for telecommunications operators, Internet service providers, enterprise and government customers in emerging markets.
A total of 12 O3b Networks satellites are to be orbited by Arianespace in groups of four, with the next mission planned for later this year, and another in 2014. These Ka-band relay platforms are produced by Thales Alenia Space, and have a liftoff mass of 700 kg. each.