“Congratulations to all the teams who made this latest mission from the Vostochny Cosmodrome a success. This launch confirms Arianespace’s ability to deploy the OneWeb constellation through the use of three different Soyuz launch sites – in French Guiana, Kazakhstan and Russia,” said Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace. “I want to sincerely thank OneWeb for its trust. I am delighted that our company has contributed – for the fifth time – to this client’s ultimate ambition of providing Internet access to everyone, anywhere, at any time.”
Ariane is currently under pressure from the EU’s new space strategy to compete with SpaceX in the US.
Soyuz successfully orbited the initial six from French Guiana during February 2019. In February and March 2020, Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate successfully launched 68 OneWeb satellites from Baikonur Cosmodrome, as well as an additional batch of 36 satellites from the Vostochny Cosmodrome during December 2020.
An amended launch contract with OneWeb will see Arianespace perform 14 more Soyuz launches through 2021 and 2022. These launches will enable the company to complete the deployment of its full global constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites by the end of 2022 to create a global broadband network, although the company aims to provide a service before then.
OneWeb was rescued from bankruptcy last year by a consortium led by the UK government and Bharti Telecom. The consortium has been expanded to include Hughes. The satellite prime contractor is OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture with Airbus Defence and Space. The satellites are currently produced in Florida on a manufacturing line that can build up to two satellites per day on a series production line dedicated to spacecraft assembly, integration, and testing.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.