Thirty-four satellites for the OneWeb constellation are ready for launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. 7
The satellites, which arrived in two shipments that included one last week, have been tested and have now been fitted into the dispenser of the Soyuz-2.1b rocket. OneWeb’s upcoming launch of these satellites has been scheduled for Thursday, February 6, at 21:42 (GMT) / Friday, February7, at 02:42 (local time) from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The satellites, which are manufactured at 1/50th of the cost of a traditional spacecraft, are all fitted with plasma thrusters that enable them to reach their correct position in LEO at 1,200 km.
The OneWeb constellation will provide global connectivity with an initial 650 satellites. OneWeb’s mission is to provide affordable, high-speed internet connectivity everywhere for everyone, by 2021. After this first launch from Baikonur, OneWeb is planning to launch around 30 satellites via Soyuz rockets every month.
Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Airbus Space Systems, stated that this launch will be a massive step forward for OneWeb – one step closer to the ambition of improving global connectivity. These 34 satellites will join the six that are currently flawlessly operating on-orbit. The company's joint venture OneWeb Satellites produces two satellites a day.
Tony Gingiss, CEO, OneWeb Satellites, said watching the first batch of the firm's factory-built satellites launch from the Soyuz will be the realization of a four-year journey... and just the beginning. OneWeb Satellites' factory continues to ramp up and streamline the production to deliver the next batch… and the next… and the next...