OneWeb has completed its second satellite launch in six weeks, after successfully launching a further 34 satellites for its low earth orbit (LEO) VSAT network from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The spacecraft were launched aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle on the evening of March 21, after which time the satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine batches. OneWeb confirmed signal acquisition with the satellites shortly afterwards.
This mission marks the second of OneWeb’s scheduled launches for 2020, following on from the previous launch in late February, with each carrying 34 satellites. The total number of satellites in the constellation in orbit now stands at 74.
“We are very proud of the progress we have made so far in 2020 and I would like to show the utmost gratitude for the time, effort, and expertise of the OneWeb company, our partners and our people as we come together and support one another,” said Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb.
“In these unprecedented times following the global outbreak of COVID-19, people around the world find themselves trying to continue their lives and work online. We see the need for OneWeb greater now more than ever before. High-quality connectivity is the lifeline to enabling people to work, continue their education, stay up to date on important healthcare information and stay meaningfully connected to one another.”
“The crisis has demonstrated the imperative need for connectivity everywhere and has exposed urgent shortcomings in many organisations’ connectivity capabilities. Our satellite network is poised to fill in many of these critical gaps in the global communications infrastructure.”