Soyuz Launches O3b Satellites

This afternoon a Soyuz rocket lifted off from Guiana Space Centre carrying four 03b satellites to orbit.  These satellites will complement the existing 03b satellites that are already in orbit and provide high speed internet around the world.

The rocket lifted off as expected at 2:55 pm EDT, 2m later the four strap-on boosters completed their job and separated from the main stage which continued upward. 4m into the flight the fairing protecting the satellites was ejected having served it’s purpose.  After 5m 15s the third stage took over and continued to power the rocket into space as the second stage fell away below it.  9m 40s into the flight the third stage shutdown leaving the Fregat upper stage and satellites in orbit to begin their journey.

The Fregat stage performed three separate burns to deliver the the first two satellites to their drop off location, once they separated successfully Fregat fired one more time so the other two satellites could separate correctly.

O3b’s Steve Collar confirmed that Ground stations have acquired signals from all four satellites launched today.

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Upcoming Launches

It’s going to be a busy few days with three separate launches. Later today at 2:55 PM EDT a Soyuz is scheduled to liftoff from French Guiana carrying four satellites for O3b Networks.  Then on Saturday 7/12 at 01:14 PM EDT an Antares is scheduled to liftoff from Wallops Island carrying a Cygnus spacecraft for the International Space Station.  And finally on Monday 7/14 at 09:21 AM EDT a Falcon 9 is scheduled to liftoff from Cape Canaveral carrying six OG2 satellites.

Check back here over the next few days for updates to these missions and where possible launch pictures and news.