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French Guyana

Soyuz to provide internet to three billion people

Arianespace Soyuz VS10 ready for launch at Sinnamary in French Guiana, 18 December 2014.
Arianespace Soyuz VS10 ready for launch at Sinnamary in French Guiana, 18 December 2014. Arianespace

Four satellites were to be launched from French Guiana on Thursday with the goal of providing more affordable internet to countries with minimal service.

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The program to provide internet is called O3b, which stands for Other Three Billion (people), referring to those who are not yet able to benefit from high-speed internet and who make up the world's emerging markets.

Lift-off was to be set for a precise moment - 3.37p.m. local time in French Guiana - initiating a flight sequence that will last two hours 22 minutes. Produced by Thales Alenia Space, the four O3b Networks satellites weigh approximately 700kg each and are to operate in medium Earth orbit.

Flight VS10 is Arianespace’s 11th mission overall in 2014, as well as its 10th Soyuz launch performed from French Guiana since the workhorse Russian-built vehicle’s 2011 introduction at the Spaceport.

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