OneWeb has completed another successful launch of 36 satellites with Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome, as the company move closer to its goal of introducing commercial services by the end of the year.
Lift-off occurred on 28 May with the satellites dispensed in nine batches over a period of nearly 4 hours. Signal acquisition on all 36 satellites was confirmed shortly afterwards.
This latest launch brings OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation to 218 satellites as it continues with its plans to create a 648 LEO (low earth orbit) satellite constellation. The company says that one more successful launch would allow it to deliver connectivity to all regions north of 50 degrees latitude in June 2021.
This latest launch represents the fourth in a five-launch schedule to fulfil what OneWeb calls its ‘Five to 50’ programme, to deliver services across the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, the Arctic Seas and Canada before the end of the year, followed by global service in 2022.
“(This) 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,” said Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO.
“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.”