Satellites are delivered for Arianespace’s next Soyuz mission at the service of O3b Networks
Three of the four satellites for O3b Networks’ next flight to “bridge the digital divide” have been delivered to French Guiana, where they will be readied for an Arianespace Soyuz launch planned for December 18.
Protected by their shipping containers, the O3b Networks satellites are unloaded from the cargo jetliner after their delivery to French Guiana.
The spacecraft trio – built by Thales Alenia Space – arrived this morning aboard a chartered cargo jetliner that landed at Félix Eboué Airport near the capital city of Cayenne, enabling them to be transferred by road to the Spaceport’s preparation facilities. The fourth O3b Networks satellite in the batch is to be delivered separately.
This upcoming Soyuz mission is designated Flight VS10 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, signifying the medium-lift workhorse’s 10th liftoff from the Spaceport since its 2011 introduction at French Guiana.
It follows Arianespace’s two previous Soyuz launches that successfully orbited four satellites apiece to create the basic constellation for O3b Networks’ pioneering connectivity service: Flight VS05 performed in June 2013; and this past July’s Flight VS08.
The latest O3b Networks spacecraft will be deployed by Soyuz into a circular orbit at an altitude of 8,062 km. – which is four-times closer to Earth than traditional geostationary satellites, providing substantial performance benefits due to lower latency or delay.
O3b Networks initiated commercial service on its state-of-the-art constellation across the Pacific, Africa, the Middle East and Asia in September of this year, and it already is delivering more than 4 Gbps of high quality connectivity to customers across the globe.