Headlines > News > “The journey begins” with a lift from Arianespace: O3b Networks’ first four satellites are in orbit

“The journey begins” with a lift from Arianespace: O3b Networks’ first four satellites are in orbit

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:57 pm via: Arianespace
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Arianespace played an important role in improving the world’s connectivity with a successful medium-lift Soyuz launch this afternoon that orbited O3b Networks’ initial four satellites.

The cluster of spacecraft was lofted on Arianespace’s maiden Soyuz mission for O3b Networks, clearing the way for the establishment of telecommunications and Internet services over Asia, Africa, South America, Australia and the Middle East that combine the global reach of satellite coverage with the speed of a fiber-optic network.  

Soyuz flight VS05

Soyuz flight VS05

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.

The O3b Networks’ slogan for this crucial launch was: “The Journey Begins,” with these words even emblazoned on a charter aircraft that brought its executives – along with personnel from Arianespace, satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space and other guests – to French Guiana from Paris.

Today’s 2 hour, 22 minute flight began with the propulsion of Soyuz’ basic three-stage launch vehicle, and was followed by four burns of its Fregat upper stage. O3b Networks’ four satellites were released in two phases from a dispenser system atop the Fregat stage for operation in medium Earth orbit.

A total of 12 O3b Networks satellites are to be orbited by Arianespace in groups of four, with the next mission planned for later this year, and another in 2014.  Thales Alenia Space produced the Ka-band relay platforms, which have a liftoff mass of approximately 700 kg. each.

Total payload lift performance for this mission – designated Flight VS05 in Arianespace’s family numbering system, notating the fifth launch of its medium-lift workhorse from French Guiana – was 3,204 kg.

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