Soyuz reaches the launch zone for Arianespace’s February 27 flight with OneWeb satellites
The launcher for Arianespace’s first Soyuz mission of 2019 is ready for payload integration following its transfer to the Spaceport’s ELS launch complex in French Guiana, which was completed earlier today.
With this rollout and the basic three-stage vehicle’s subsequent vertical positioning over its launch pad, Soyuz marked another key step toward Arianespace’s February 27 mission to orbit the initial six spacecraft in OneWeb’s constellation, which will provide affordable high-speed internet access for users around the world.
In procedures that have become familiar at the Spaceport, Soyuz was moved via a transport/erector rail car in a horizontal-transfer process from the MIK launcher assembly facility to the ELS launch zone. Once over the launch pad, the vehicle was erected into a vertical orientation, where it is suspended in place by four large support arms.
Ready for payload integration
Following this step’s completion, the mobile gantry was moved into position over the launcher – providing protection for the upcoming installation of Soyuz’ “upper composite,” which consists of the six OneWeb spacecraft and their dispenser system, plus the Fregat upper stage and payload fairing.
OneWeb is building the world’s largest and highest throughput satellite system to connect everyone, everywhere – by land, air, sea with a vision to bridge the digital divide once and for all.
Once placed in a near-polar orbit by Soyuz, the first six spacecraft – produced by the OneWeb Satellites joint venture of OneWeb and Airbus – will operate at an altitude of 1,200 km., giving customers extremely low latency and providing communications access to the entire world with fiber-quality internet connectivity.