by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) May 01, 2014
O3b Networks spacecraft for Arianespace's next launch to help "bridge the digital divide" have been delivered to French Guiana, marking a key step in preparations for this upcoming Soyuz mission from the Spaceport.
The four satellites arrived this month aboard a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner that landed at Felix Eboue Airport near the capital city of Cayenne, and were transferred by road to the Spaceport - where pre-launch processing is to commence.
This next Soyuz mission is designated Flight VS08 in Arianespace's launcher family numbering system, signifying the eighth liftoff of the medium-lift workhorse since its 2011 introduction at French Guiana.
The launch follows Arianespace's June 2013 orbiting of the initial four O3b satellites, which were produced by Thales Alenia Space and provided the first step in O3b Networks' creation of a space-based constellation to deliver telecommunications and Internet services over Asia, Africa, South America, Australia and the Middle East.
Using the constellation of satellites to be lofted by Arianespace, 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.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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