Russian Soyuz ST-V booster launched from European Kourou cosmodrome in French Guiana set O3b Networks satellites providing inexpensive internet access into the orbit. The process was broadcasted on Arianespace Company website.
On Monday the launch was postponed due to the poor weather conditions in upper atmosphere, and then it was postponed by half an hour due to the bad weather. The booster was launched on Tuesday at 23.27 Moscow time. The launch was carried out nominally.
O3b Networks satellites constructed by Thales Alenia Space Company were set into the 8063 km high orbit. The satellites will operate within the range of Ka frequency and will be a part of O3b Networks group that will provide high speed and inexpensive internet access for developing countries. Four more O3b Networks satellites will be set into the orbit late this yearm the next four in 2014.
This Soyuz launch was the fifth from Kourou cosmodrome. For the first time Russian rocket was launched from beyond the territory of former USSR on October, 22, 2011 when Soyuz ST-b was launched from European Kourou cosmodrome in French Guiana. Earlier Soyuz spacecrafts could be launched from two cosmodromes only – from Russian Plesetsk cosmodrome and Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Image credit – Roscosmos