Latest Mission updates

Soyuz March 8, 2018

Soyuz receives the “go” for Arianespace’s March 9 liftoff with O3b MEO satellites

Soyuz has been cleared for Arianespace’s March 9 liftoff with four O3b MEO satellites, which are contained in the “upper composite” – shown here after integration atop the launcher in French Guiana.

Authorization has been given for tomorrow’s Arianespace Soyuz launch from French Guiana, providing the “all clear” for this medium-lift mission that will orbit four O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites.

Approval was granted today after the regular pre-launch review for Arianespace flights – which confirmed the readiness of Soyuz and its multi-satellite payload, the launch site and associated infrastructure at the Spaceport, as well as the network of downrange tracking stations.

The March 9 mission – designated VS18 in Arianespace’s numbering system – will be performed from the purpose-built ELS launch facility for Soyuz. Liftoff is scheduled at precisely 1:37:06 p.m. local time in French Guiana, with the four passengers to be deployed during a flight lasting approximately 2 hrs., 22 min.

After their launch by Arianespace, the O3b spacecraft will be operated by SES Networks to provide the world with low latency, fiber-like connectivity in the growing mobility, fixed data and government markets. The trapezoidal-shaped Ka-band relay platforms, produced by Thales Alenia Space, have a liftoff mass of 700 kg. each.

Twelve O3b satellites currently are in orbit, launched by Arianespace utilizing its medium-lift Soyuz workhorse to carry four spacecraft each on launches that began in June 2013, followed by missions in July and December 2014.

  • A larger version of the photo above is available for downloading in the Gallery.


More details are available in the VS18 launch kit:

Soyuz Flight VS18
PDF / 3 MB


SES website:

Thales Alenia Space website:

Soyuz March 5, 2018

New target launch date for Flight VS18 with Soyuz and O3b satellites

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