Friday 9 March, Soyuz accomplished a flawless launch from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, orbiting four new telecommunications satellites for the O3b medium-Earth-orbit (MEO) constellation, marking its 18th straight success from the CSG since 2011.
The four satellites were orbited for SES, the world-leading telecommunications satellite operator and the first to deliver a differentiated and scalable GEO-MEO offering with more than 50 satellites in geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) and 12 in medium Earth orbit (MEO). SES provides satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and Internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, governments and institutions, as well as to businesses around the world.
With a total launch mass of 2,800 kilograms (700 kilograms each), the four satellites will join the existing O3b MEO constellation to deliver high-speed connectivity to people and businesses in the growing mobility, fixed data and government markets. By scaling its MEO fleet, SES is adding 38% more capacity across the globe and growing the addressable market from 45 to 50 degrees North and South latitude. The satellites have an expected service lifetime of more than 10 years.
On the occasion of this launch, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “It is very satisfying for all of the launch teams to see this 18th straight success for Soyuz from the Guiana Space Centre. I would like to warmly congratulate all of our partners’ teams at SES Networks, ESA, Arianespace, Starsem, European and Russian manufacturers, at CNES and of course in particular the teams at the Launch Vehicles Directorate and the CSG.”