One of O3b Networks’ satellites delivered to French Guiana is unloaded in its protective shipping container from the An-124 cargo jetliner (photo at left). At right, all four spacecraft are ready for their convoy from Cayenne’s Félix Eboué Airport to the Spaceport.
Soyuz Flight VS08
O3b Networks spacecraft for Arianespace’s next launch to help “bridge the digital divide” have been delivered to French Guiana, marking a key step in preparations for this upcoming Soyuz mission from the Spaceport.
The four satellites arrived this month aboard a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner that landed at Félix Eboué Airport near the capital city of Cayenne, and were transferred by road to the Spaceport – where pre-launch processing is to commence.
This next Soyuz mission is designated Flight VS08 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, signifying the eighth liftoff of the medium-lift workhorse since its 2011 introduction at French Guiana.
The launch follows Arianespace’s June 2013 orbiting of the initial four O3b satellites, which were produced by Thales Alenia Space and provided the first step in O3b Networks’ creation of a space-based constellation to deliver telecommunications and Internet services over Asia, Africa, South America, Australia and the Middle East.
Using the constellation of satellites to be lofted by Arianespace, O3b Networks’ strategy is to provide billions of consumers and businesses in nearly 180 countries with low-cost, high-speed, low latency Internet and mobile connectivity.
Soyuz Flight VS08
The next four satellites to serve O3b Networks in providing emerging market connectivity worldwide have entered their checkout phase at the Spaceport in French Guiana, readying them for launch on an Arianespace Soyuz mission planned for late June/early July.
These spacecraft are now inside the Spaceport’s S1B clean room facility, and are being removed from the individual shipping containers that protected them during a trans-Atlantic cargo jetliner flight from Europe to the equatorial launch site.
The O3b Networks satellites were produced by Thales Alenia Space, and have a trapezoidal-shaped main body to facilitate their integration on the Soyuz vehicle’s payload dispenser system. Outfitted with Ka-band transponders, the four spacecraft are to be positioned after launch at a medium-orbit altitude of 8,062 km.
This upcoming Soyuz mission is designated Flight VS08 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, signifying the eighth liftoff of the medium-lift workhorse from the Spaceport since its 2011 introduction at French Guiana.
Arianespace orbited the initial four O3b Networks satellites on another Soyuz mission performed in June 2013. It marked the first step in O3b Networks’ creation of a space-based constellation to provide billions of consumers and businesses in nearly 180 countries with low-cost, high-speed, low latency Internet and mobile connectivity – delivering services over Asia, Africa, South America, Australia and the Middle East.
Soyuz is part of Arianespace’s three-member launcher family, which also includes the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and lightweight Vega – which also are operated at the Spaceport.
One of the four O3b Networks satellites is removed from its shipping container inside the Spaceport’s S1B clean room facility, where each of these Ku-band spacecraft will be entering their pre-launch processing.
Arianespace Flight VS08: O3b Soyuz ST-B; Launch slated on July 10, 2014
Evry, June 5, 2014
Arianespace will send four more satellites from the O3b constellation into a circular orbit at an altitude of 7,830 km with the eighth Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.
Liftoff of the Soyuz ST-B launcher is now scheduled for Thursday July 10:
- at 03:55:56 p.m., local time in French Guiana,
- at 02:55:56 p.m. in Washington DC,
- at 18:55:56 UTC,
- at 08:55:56 p.m. in Paris,
- at 10:55:56 p.m. in Moscow.