Arianespace launches O3b sats on Soyuz
The launch marks completion of the initial O3b satellite constellation.
Arianespace successfully lofted four additional satellites for the SES O3b constellation into a circular orbit using a Soyuz launch vehicle on 4th April. The satellites — the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th O3b platforms — mark the completion of the first phase of the constellation.
The flight, including three burns of the Fregat upper stage, lasted 2 hours and 22 minutes until final separation. Total payload lift performance was estimated at 3,198kg. It was Arianespace’s second Soyuz mission in 2019.
The O3b fleet of medium-Earth orbit (MEO) satellites is a non-geostationary constellation that provides commercial broadband services to customers in nearly 50 countries.
Including the latest four O3b satellites, Arianespace has launched a total of 61 spacecraft for SES.
Since 1999, Arianespace has deployed a total of 113 constellation satellites (87 commercial and 26 institutional) for telecommunications and connectivity, Earth observation and navigation applications.
Arianespace has now performed a total of nine launches in a six-month span (beginning with Ariane 5’s October 19 launch that sent BepiColombo on its way to explore Mercury).