After a launch with the rocket SpaceX’s Falcon 9, OneWeb confirms the successful deployment of 40 new small telecommunications satellites for its low-orbit high-speed Internet access constellation.
This is the very first time that OneWeb has called on SpaceX to complete its constellation, knowing that SpaceX is in competition with OneWeb through its own starlink constellation which operates in an even lower circuit.
From the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off late Thursday afternoon (Thursday night to Friday Paris time) for its OneWeb 1 mission.” The 40 satellites launched yesterday are in contact with our network and will now reach their final position in low earth orbit “, announces OneWeb.
After a break in the first quarter
OneWeb had halted launches of its satellites in the middle of the first quarter war in ukraine, with the cancellation of Soyuz launches from Baikonur and Vostochny. The Russian space agency had issued an ultimatum, demanding in particular the British government’s withdrawal from OneWeb’s shareholding.
Launches to OneWeb resumed in October, first with an Agency rocket from the Indian Space Agency.
OneWeb will now return to the launch pad in early 2023 for the launch of the last satellites in its constellation and the activation of worldwide coverage. Two other missions are thus planned with SpaceX and another with an Indian launch vehicle.
Merger between Eutelsat and OneWeb
Currently, the OneWeb constellation has 502 satellites in orbit. They are in operation at an altitude of 1,200 km. The first generation fleet has been announced almost 80% done.
Remember that a merger operation between the French satellite operator Eutelsat and OneWeb is underway. It should be completed in the second or third quarter of 2023.
Following the merger, Eutelsat and OneWeb will begin developing OneWeb’s next Gen 2 constellation. The current generation promises download speeds of up to 195 Mbit/s and a total latency of 70 ms.