Video Clip: OneWeb completes 36-satellite launch
OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, has confirmed the successful launch of all 36 satellites by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.
“This launch brings OneWeb a step closer to its ‘Five to 50’ ambition, which enables the start of commercial service by the end of the year,” said a release from OneWeb.
Lift-off occurred on April 26 at 23:14 BST. OneWeb’s satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine batches over a period of 3 hours 52 minutes with signal acquisition on all 36 satellites confirmed.
This successful launch brings its total in-orbit constellation to 182 satellites. These will form part of OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity, including commercial inflight applications, and represents 60 percent of the constellation required to enable its connectivity solution to reach all regions north of 50 degrees latitude by June 2021.
This is the third in a five-launch ‘Five to 50’ program, enabling OneWeb to offer services across the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Artic Seas and Canada, and will be switched on before the end of the year. OneWeb then intends to make global service available in 2022.
“This is a great milestone for OneWeb as we advance to realise our long-held ambitions for OneWeb Aviation,” said Ben Griffin, OneWeb Vice President Mobility. “Airline start-ups and established carriers who currently don’t have IFE are exploring options as they build after the pandemic. The interest we are garnering is remarkable.”