by Jennifer Briggs
Space Coast FL (SPX) Apr 29, 2023
A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched two communication satellites, O3b mPower 3 and 4, and is now just one launch away from launching SES' next-generation broadband constellation in medium Earth orbit (MEO).
Falcon 9 lifted off Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Space Launch Complex-40 (SLC-40), at 6:12 p.m. EDT (2212 GMT) on Friday.
O3b is an acronym that stands for "Other 3 Billion" and refers to the billions of people who do not have access to dependable internet connectivity.
The Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite constellation O3b mPower was built by Boeing and is owned and operated by a Luxembourg-based satellite telecommunications network provider, SES. O3b mPower is a successor to the O3b fleet, built by Thales Alenia Space nearly a decade ago.
It will be made up of 11 next-generation high-throughput satellites that will operate in MEO, roughly 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) above the Earth, which will provide low-latency communications services to customers around the world.
It will now take roughly six months for their onboard electric propulsion system to gradually boost their orbits until they individually reach the constellation's anticipated operational equatorial orbit.
About nine minutes after liftoff on the O3b mission, the Falcon 9's first stage booster landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com