Low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company OneWeb has announced that it has entered into an agreement with New Space India Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, to boost its launch programme as it continues with the rollout of its global network.
The deal follows a separate previous agreement with SpaceX to launch OneWeb satellites, announced in March 2022.
OneWeb’s launch programme was dealt a blow following the cancellation of its series of proposed launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, which is operated by Russia. With OneWeb partly owned by the UK government, the satellite operator decided to suspend all Baikonur activities, with 36 satellites already in place at the facility for an upcoming launch.
The company now hopes to get the programme back on track following its new launch deals with SpaceX and New Space India. The first launch with New Space is expected to happen later this year from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
OneWeb’s current in-orbit constellation of 428 satellites represents 66% per cent of the planned total fleet.
“This is yet another historic day for collaboration in space, thanks to the shared ambition and vision of New Space India and OneWeb,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, OneWeb Executive Chairman.
“This most recent agreement on launch plans adds considerable momentum to the development of OneWeb’s network, as we work together across the space industry toward our common goal of connecting communities globally.”