Ready for a new era in connectivity: Soyuz is given the “go” for Arianespace’s first mission with O3b Networks’ satellites
The fifth medium-lift Soyuz has been cleared for launch from the Spaceport in French Guiana on Arianespace’s first mission to loft a cluster of connectivity spacecraft for O3b Networks.
This flight is on track for an afternoon liftoff on Monday, June 24 following today’s launch readiness review, which confirmed the “go” status of Soyuz and its four satellites, along with the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the network of downrange tracking stations.
Payload lift performance for this mission – designated Flight VS05 in Arianespace’s family numbering system – is 3,204 kg., including approximately 2,800 kg. for the four Ka-band satellites, which were produced by Thales Alenia Space for O3b Networks.
Operating from a medium-Earth altitude, the spacecraft will deliver telecommunications and Internet services to Asia, Africa, South America, Australia and the Middle East, combining the global reach of satellite coverage with the speed of a fiber-optic network. Using the constellation of satellites to be launched by Arianespace, O3b Networks’ strategy is to provide billions of consumers and businesses in nearly 180 countries with low-cost, high-speed, low latency Internet and mobile connectivity.
During Arianespace’s upcoming Soyuz flight, the initial two satellites will be released from a dispenser system at just over two hours after liftoff, followed 21 minutes later by the remaining two. Soyuz’ Fregat upper stage is to perform four separate propulsive burns in the mission profile.
Arianespace is scheduled to perform the second Soyuz launch with four O3b Networks satellites later this year, followed by another mission in 2014.