Arianespace has launched four additional satellites for the SES-owned O3b system, and thus brought the number of O3b craft in orbit to 20 and completing the roll-out of the company’s first-generation of satellites. The O3b fleet is now 26 per cent larger.
Arianespace used a Russian Soyuz rocket to deliver the satellites on April 4th from its French Guiana space centre. The mission went flawlessly, with the first pair of satellites separating from the rocket’s dispenser system, and the second pair 22 minutes later.
The satellites were built by Thales Alenia Space and will orbit at ‘mid-Earth’ positions 8000 kms above the ground.
SES has seven ‘Mark 2’ second-generation mPower satellites on order with Boeing which are scheduled for orbiting in 2021.