OneWeb launch brings constellation to 146 satellites

Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite firm OneWeb has confirmed the successful launch of 36 new satellites by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia, bringing its total in-orbit constellation to 146 satellites.

This launch, its second under new ownership since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020, is part of a five-launch programme that aims to enable OneWeb connectivity to be accessed in regions north of 50 degrees latitude by the middle of 2021.

The company says that services will ready to start by year’s end, with coverage over the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas and Canada, before global services are made available in 2022.

The final global satellite fleet is expected to include 648 LEO satellites.

“This is the second of our ‘Five to 50’ launch series and represents a key moment in OneWeb’s return. The next launch in the series is scheduled for the end of April, as we continue our drive towards commercial service this year,” said Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO.

“OneWeb is rising to the challenge of our mission to provide connectivity to everyone, everywhere, all the time. Backed by exemplary shareholders, we are connecting the world.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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