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Soyuz VS16 was transferred from the preparation building MIK to the Soyuz launch zone of the Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, on 24 January 2017.
The vehicle was rolled out horizontally on its erector from the MIK to the launch zone and then raised into the vertical position.
Soyuz VS16 will lift off in the early hours of 28 January (CET). The rocket will carry Hispasat 36W-1 satellite which will be the first satellite to use the SmallGEO platform.
SmallGEO is a multipurpose satellite platform capable of accommodating a wide range of commercial telecommunications payloads and missions, from TV broadcasting to multimedia applications, Internet access and mobile or fixed services in a wide range of frequency bands.
Its new, modular and flexible design boosts European industry’s ability to play a significant role in commercial satcoms by easing entry into the lower-mass telecom satellite market. It was developed by Germany's OHB System AG under ESA's ARTES Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems programme.
Hispasat's Hispasat 36W-1 will be the first satellite to use the SmallGEO platform, marking the first partnership between ESA and a Spanish operator.
H36W-1 will provide Europe, the Canary Islands and South America with faster multimedia services through its Redsat payload, which offers better signal quality and flexible land coverage. Redsat enables H36W-1 to provide advanced connectivity services based on the latest communication standards.