Satellite operator OneWeb celebrated the end of 2021 with a twelfth successful launch to bring the company’s total in-orbit constellation to 394 satellites at the turn of the year.
The addition of these latest of 36 satellites means that more than 60% of OneWeb’s planned 648 LEO (low earth orbit) satellite fleet has now been launched.
Lift-off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome was completed on 27 December, with the satellites dispensed in nine batches over a period of 3 hours 45 minutes after separation from the rocket, before signal acquisition on all 36 satellites was confirmed to conclude the mission.
OneWeb says that it plans to launch global service on the network by the end of this year as its launch programme continues throughout 2022.
“With more than 60% of our constellation now in space, the business is fully-funded and we have a growing workforce of more than 400 people,” said Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO.
“I have been immensely proud to lead the business and our team over the last year as we continue to make substantial progress launching our global network, and I look forward to building on this momentum in 2022.”