Initial O3b satellite constellation completed
Posted on 20 May 2019 and read 787 times
Lifting off last month from the Spaceport in French Guiana, Arianespace’s Soyuz launch vehicle delivered the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th O3b satellites into a circular orbit during a flight lasting 2hr 22min before final separation.
After the initial powered phase involving the Soyuz’s three lower stages, the flight — designated VS22 in Arianespace’s numbering system — included three burns of the Fregat upper stage to reach the targeted deployment point.
Luce Fabreguettes, Arianespace’s (www.arianespace.com
) executive vice president (missions, operations and purchasing), said: “This launch follows the O3b constellation deployments in 2013, 2014 and 2018 and marks the completion of the constellation. Mission accomplished!”
The O3b fleet of medium-Earth-orbit (MEO) satellites provides commercial broadband services to nearly 50 countries. Including the four O3b satellites put into orbit by Flight VS22, Arianespace has launched a total of 61 spacecraft on
behalf of satellite operator 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.
The company’s current launcher family comprises the heavy-lift Ariane 5, the medium-lift Soyuz and the lightweight Vega.