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Oneweb launches 34 satellites

Posted 7 February 2020 · Add Comment

OneWeb today announced the successful launch of 34 satellites, aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle that lifted off from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 21:42 pm UTC, 6th February.


Courtesy Oneweb

The OneWeb satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine batches over a period of several hours.

This launch is the second successful launch in one of the largest civilian satellite launch campaigns in history. It will help build OneWeb's phase one constellation of 648 satellites that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity, while addressing the world's most pressing connectivity problems.

The communications company is on schedule to provide global coverage to customers in 2021, starting with the first commercial services in the Arctic this year. This follows OneWeb both securing global priority spectrum rights and successfully launching its first batch of satellites in 2019.

OneWeb's network will provide a unique combination of high data throughput, low latency, true global coverage and a range of user terminals for multiple markets including maritime, aviation, government and enterprise.

Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb, said: "The successful manufacture, delivery and launch of this batch of 34 satellites is the latest proof point of the OneWeb plan. Importantly, today's mission also brings us closer to our next step, realizing our ultimate vision of providing access to high speed, reliable internet to everyone, everywhere."

"We are seeing considerable interest from prospective customers and partners. Later this year, we will provide service in the arctic region and 2021 will see OneWeb achieve global coverage, making the digital divide a thing of the past. I'm very proud of our team and partners who continue to collaborate to make our ambitious scale a reality, and also those in Kazakhstan for supporting our vision."

UK-based OneWeb - which has its Global Operations Centre in White City, London - aims to bring worldwide internet coverage and received £18 million of UK Space Agency funding through the European Space Agency (ESA) for the development of its next generation satellite constellation.

This investment also supports the development of novel automation techniques and artificial intelligence to manage the spacecraft and their interaction with terrestrial networks to deliver global 5G connectivity.

The launch, from Baikonur in Kazakhstan marks the start of one of the largest civilian launch campaigns in history, which aims to create a constellation of 648 satellites.

Catherine Mealing-Jones, Director of Growth at the UK Space Agency said: "There is huge commercial potential for a cost-effective worldwide telecoms satellite system, and the UK space sector is playing a leading role in delivering it, building on our world-leading capabilities in satellite telecommunications, connectivity and data. Satellite telecoms are central to bringing fast responsive services to people and communities right across the UK and around the world.

"Responsible growth means that we recognise the importance of protecting the space environment and are the leading investor in ESA’s space safety and security programme, which includes a new mission to help remove space debris."

 

 

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