OneWeb has successfully launched 34 satellites into space, aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
The launched was on 6 February at 21:42pm UTC. The OneWeb satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine batches over a period of several hours.
This launch is the second successful launch in one of the largest civilian satellite launch campaigns in history. It will help build OneWeb’s phase one constellation of 648 satellites that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity, while addressing the world’s most pressing connectivity problems.
The communications company is on schedule to provide global coverage to customers in 2021, starting with the first commercial services in the Arctic this year. This follows OneWeb both securing global priority spectrum rights and successfully launching its first batch of satellites in 2019.
Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb, said: “The successful manufacture, delivery and launch of this batch of 34 satellites is the latest proof point of the OneWeb plan. Importantly, today’s mission also brings us closer to our next step, realising our ultimate vision of providing access to high speed, reliable internet to everyone, everywhere.”
OneWeb’s network will provide a unique combination of high data throughput, low latency, true global coverage and a range of user terminals for multiple markets including maritime, aviation, government and enterprise.
What’s next for OneWeb?
This marks the start of a regular launch campaign during 2020 that will rapidly grow OneWeb’s first phase constellation of 648 satellites and represents one of the largest civilian satellite launch campaigns in history.
Each satellite forms an integral part of the high-speed global satellite broadband network and together will activate OneWeb’s first customer demos by the end of 2020 to provide full commercial global services for sectors such as maritime, aviation, government and enterprise in 2021.
Steckel continued: “”We are seeing considerable interest from prospective customers and partners. Later this year, we will provide service in the arctic region and 2021 will see OneWeb achieve global coverage, making the digital divide a thing of the past.
“I’m very proud of our team and partners who continue to collaborate to make our ambitious scale a reality, and also those in Kazakhstan for supporting our vision.”