[SatNews] Payload processing for Arianespace’s third Soyuz mission at the service of O3b Networks has reached full speed, with all four connectivity satellites now at the Spaceport, where fueling and integration operations are underway.
Preparations for the launch have included delivery of the final member in the four-spacecraft cluster to French Guiana, the start-up of fueling for the satellites, and integration of the first passenger on the dispenser system that will deploy the payloads in orbit.
Liftoff of Arianespace’s Soyuz with these satellites is set for December 18th, following the medium-lift workhorse’s previous missions that lofted four O3b Networks spacecraft each in July 2014 and June 2013. The initial eight satellites orbited by Arianespace enabled O3b Networks to become fully operational. With its roll-out of services on a global basis, the company offers a system that combines the reach of satellite with the speed of fiber—providing customers with affordable, low latency, high bandwidth connectivity.
Thales Alenia Space builds the O3b Networks Ka-band relay platforms, which have a liftoff mass of approximately 700kg. each. Their trapezoidal form enables four satellites to be installed on a tube-shaped dispenser system used on each launch. The upcoming mission for O3b Networks is designated Flight VS10 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, denoting the 10th mission of Soyuz performed from the Spaceport.
Follow Arianespace's launch activity at: http://www.arianespace.com/.