France's Arianespace announces to launch Soyuz in June

2013-05-24 11:47:46 GMT2013-05-24 19:47:46(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

PARIS, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The Soyuz launcher for Arianespace's milestone medium-lift mission is rapidly taking shape in French Guiana, said the aerospace group in a statement on Friday.

"This vehicle undergoes its build-up for a June flight with the first four satellites in O3b Networks' connectivity constellation," Arianespace declared.

Arianespace added that the vehicle has completed the core second stage with the mating of its upper and lower sections and will be followed by mating of the launcher's centerline at the third stage.

"Once completed, the Soyuz will be ready for its rollout to the Spaceport's ELS launch pad, where it will be raised to the vertical position, preparing it for integration of the O3b Networks satellite payload, performed with the protection of a 53-meter-tall mobile gantry," the leading aerospace group said.

The O3b Networks satellites to be orbited on Arianespace's June 24 mission are to be positioned at a medium-Earth orbit altitude of 8,063 km.

Operating in Ka-band, these spacecraft will become part of O3b Networks' system that offers high-speed, low-cost, low-latency Internet and telecommunications services for customers in emerging markets.

This Soyuz flight will be Arianespace's fifth with the medium-lift vehicle from the Spaceport since its introduction at French Guiana in October 2011.

Soyuz is part of the company's complete launcher family, which also includes the heavyweight Ariane 5 and light-lift Vega.

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