A “piece of cake:” Arianespace marks its 500th satellite orbited with a special celebration
Arianespace and its partners lit up Kourou for a second time after yesterday’s successful Soyuz Flight VS10 – with a cake celebrating the company’s 500th satellite launched since its creation.
Decorated with “Happy 500+ with O3b!,” the cake marked a milestone that was surpassed during Soyuz’ deployment of four O3b Networks’ spacecraft, which brought the total number of satellites orbited by Arianespace to 502.
This milestone once again underscores Arianespace’s role as a global leader – setting the standard in launch services for a variety of operators and missions, while guaranteeing independent access to space.
In 2014 alone, the company launched 23 satellites on 11 total flights from French Guiana – comprising six with Ariane 5, four Soyuz liftoffs and one Vega mission.
With yesterday’s Flight VS10 and previous missions in June 2013 and July 2014, Arianespace’s Soyuz vehicle has now lofted 12 O3b Networks satellites – built by prime contractor Thales Alenia Space – in three batches of four. O3b’s first eight satellites enabled the company to roll-out its low-latency, high bandwidth connectivity services on a global basis this September, and the latest batch will complete its initial constellation.
The celebratory cake was presented during a post-launch gathering at Kourou’s Hotel des Roches, with Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël making the first cut for its distribution to attendees.