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Corporate December 18, 2014

Arianespace launch a success, orbiting four more satellites in the O3b constellation

Following the successful launches of the first eight satellites in two batches, on June 25, 2013 and July 10, 2014, Arianespace has orbited four new satellites in the O3b constellation. The 10th Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, took place on Thursday, December 18 at 3:37 pm local time.

Arianespace and O3b team up to provide spaceborne services for people down on Earth

With this launch Arianespace continues to deploy the O3b satellite constellation into an equatorial circular orbit, to provide high-speed, low-cost, low-latency Internet access to emerging markets in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Australia and the Middle East. The coverage zone includes nearly 180 countries and the “Other 3 billion” (O3b) inhabitants of the planet who do not yet enjoy broadband Internet connectivity.

By adding these new satellites, the O3b constellation can increase capacity to address rising demand. O3b Networks started full commercial service on September 1, 2014.

About the mission: a successful return to flight

  • 10th Soyuz launch from French Guiana
  • 4th Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center in 2014
  • 36th Soyuz launch handled by Arianespace

Today’s launch marks the resumption of Soyuz launches from the Guiana Space Center, four months after an orbital injection anomaly occurred on the previous Soyuz mission. The European independent Inquiry Board named by Arianespace and the Russian Inquiry Board named by Russian space agency Roscosmos, submitted converging conclusions concerning the cause of this anomaly. Both boards issued a series of recommendations, which were implemented to ensure a fast, secure resumption of launches. The four O3b satellite constellation have been acquired on their targeted orbit by O3b Networks team.

2014: Arianespace sets a record for annual operations

As predicted earlier this year, Arianespace has set a new record for annual operations since the introduction of its complete family of launchers, logging a total of 11 launches in 2014.This impressive performance was made possible by the unflagging effort of the Arianespace teams and its partners at the Guiana Space Center to reduce the time between two missions and optimize preparations for the launches.

  • 11 launches (6 Ariane 5, 4 Soyuz, 1 Vega)in 2014: a record for the Arianespace family
  • 78.3 metric tons orbited from French Guiana in 2014 (versus 74.1 in 2012), setting an all-time record
  • >500 satellites launched since 1980 (23 in 2014)

After the official announcement of the orbital injection of the four O3b satellites, Stéphane Israël, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, said: “I would like to express my warm thanks to O3b Networks for once again placing their trust in Arianespace, so they can develop their offering of innovative telecommunications services in emerging markets. We are very proud of our role in continuing to support the growth of our customer O3b, following the start of commercial service on September 1st. We share with them a core commitment to bringing the benefits of space down to people on Earth. Thanks to Thales Alenia Space for the disponibility of this four additionnal satellites. I would also like to thank our Russian partners for ensuring the successful return to flight of the Soyuz launcher at the Guiana Space Center. And last but not least, thanks to all the teams at Arianespace, to our partners CNES/CSG and to all spaceport employees for their exceptional commitment throughout 2014, enabling us to set this new record of 11 launches during the year. Meeting this objective was not a foregone conclusion, and nothing would have been possible without the all-out commitment of everybody involved.”

Lancement VS10 : Arianespace a lancé avec succès quatre nouveaux satellites pour la constellation O3b
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Corporate November 19, 2014

Arianespace certified to ISO 14001 for operations at the Guiana Space Center

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