Successful launch of Soyuz LV with O3b satellites from the Guiana Space Center

04.04.2019

On April 4, 2019 at 20:03 Moscow time (14:03 local time), a successful launch of the Soyuz-ST-B carrier rocket augmented with the Fregat-MT upper stage was executed from the Guiana Space Center. As a result, four communication satellites owned by the O3b Networks Company (Great Britain), a subsidiary of the SES operator from Luxembourg, were placed into the target orbit.

The launch was carried out under the contract between Glavkosmos and the French company Arianespace.

The four launched satellites supplemented the current O3b satellite constellation of 16 spacecraft deployed in a circular orbit along the equator at an altitude of 8,063 km (medium earth orbit). The satellites are built by Thales Alenia Space.

The O3b Program involves the deployment of a satellite constellation  on medium-high equatorial circular earth orbits to provide telecommunication services and high-speed Internet access in the countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Interesting facts 1/3
On July 15, 1975 Soyuz-19 spaceship was lifted aboard Soyuz-U launch vehicle. It was the first international space flight with the docking of Apollo, a US spaceship. The famous Soyuz-Apollo docking was a historical event and a symbol of rapprochement between the two superpowers in the period of détente during the long-lasting Cold War.
Interesting facts 2/3
On April 4, 2019, Glavkosmos JSC, under a contract with Arianespace, launched four communication satellites of O3b Networks, a subsidiary of Luxembourg-based satellite communications operator SES. The name O3b stands for “Other 3 billions”, which refers to the world's population, where broadband Internet is not available right now. Thanks to the O3b satellites, the Internet will come to them.
Interesting facts 3/3
Soyuz-2.1a became the first rocket launched from the new Russian space center Vostochny. The historical launch was conducted on April 28, 2016.