Arianespace’s third Soyuz mission at the service of O3b Networks is approved for launch on December 18
The next Arianespace Soyuz launch from French Guiana has been authorized for liftoff tomorrow on a mission that will orbit the third batch of satellites for O3b Networks’ pioneering connectivity service.
This “go” approval was given today after the regular pre-launch review for Arianespace flights – which confirmed the readiness of Soyuz and its payload of four relay spacecraft, the launch site and associated infrastructure at the Spaceport, along with the network of downrange tracking stations.
The December 18 mission is designated VS10 in Arianespace’s numbering system, and will be performed from the purpose-built ELS launch facility for Soyuz – which is located in the Spaceport’s northwestern sector.
Tomorrow’s Soyuz liftoff is set for a precise moment – 3:37 p.m. local time in French Guiana – initiating a flight sequence that will last 2 hr., 22 min. Produced by Thales Alenia Space, the four O3b Networks satellites weigh approximately 700 kg. each and are to operate in medium Earth orbit (MEO).
The previous two Arianespace Soyuz missions for O3b Networks also lofted four spacecraft each on launches performed in July 2014 and June 2013 – enabling the company to deliver connectivity that combines the reach of satellite with the speed of fiber, providing customers with affordable, low latency, high bandwidth connectivity.
Flight VS10 will be Arianespace’s 11th mission overall in 2014, as well as its 10th Soyuz launch performed from French Guiana since the workhorse Russian-built vehicle’s 2011 introduction at the Spaceport.