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Satnews Daily
April 25th, 2013

Arianespace... Four To GO... (Launch)

[SatNews] The initial four O3b spacecraft to be launched by Arianespace on...

...Soyuz have arrived in French Guiana, taking the global satellite operator one step closer to its goal of deploying a next-generation network that provides emerging market customers with access to fast, flexible and affordable connectivity. These satellites are now in the Spaceport’s S1 payload processing facility near the city of Kourou, having been transferred by road after arriving aboard a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner at Cayenne’s Félix Eboué airport earlier in the week.

Two of O3b’s four satellites delivered to French Guiana are unloaded in their protective shipping containers from the An-124 cargo jetliner (photo at left). In the photo at right, all four spacecraft are ready for the convoy from Cayenne’s Félix Eboué airport to the Spaceport.
Photo courtesy of Arianespace.

Arianespace’s Soyuz mission for O3b is scheduled for June, marking the medium-lift vehicle’s fifth flight from French Guiana since its 2011 introduction at the equatorial launch site. O3b’s Ka-band satellites were built by prime contractor Thales Alenia Space,and are to be positioned at a medium-orbit altitude of approximately 8,060 km., offering high speed, low cost, low-latency Internet and telecommunications services to emerging markets. In addition to the first batch of spacecraft lofted by the upcoming Soyuz mission in June, another Arianespace flight is scheduled to obit four more O3b satellites later this year, followed by an additional four of the spacecraft in 2014.