Arianespace has launched the latest batch of 36 OneWeb satellites. With this launch, OneWeb has a constellation of 218 satellites in orbit.
A Soyuz rocket, operated by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate, launched the satellites from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East.
This was the fourth launch in OneWeb’s ‘Five to 50’ campaign to enable its broadband connectivity to reach all regions north of 50 degrees latitude by June 2021.
The ‘Five to 50’ service will enable connectivity across the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas, and Canada. This service is expected to be switched on before the end of the year and OneWeb intends to make global service available in 2022. OneWeb is targeting 648 satellites for its entire first-generation system.
Speaking about the development, Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb, said: Today’s successful launch is another execution milestone that puts us one launch away from delivering high speed, low latency connectivity to Alaska, Canada, Greenland, UK, and Northern Europe. Today we celebrate and thank our Florida team for their hard work and dedication that has delivered more than 200 satellites to orbit. Collaboration and teamwork are vital for OneWeb’s mission to succeed. We are grateful to all our partners around the world who are joining us on our mission to deliver global connectivity, starting with everywhere 50 degrees north.”
James Hinds, CEO of OneWeb Satellites, added: Today’s successful launch highlights the great industrial partnership we have with OneWeb and Airbus. With more than 200 satellites built in our factory, we are extremely proud of our team’s high-quality and fast production of satellites. Supporting OneWeb’s mission and constellation deployment is creating hundreds of highly skilled manufacturing and engineering jobs in the Space Coast, and we are excited to be a part of the progress made today, bringing us all one step closer to delivering global connectivity.”