36 more satellites! OneWeb launches again and exceeds half of its goal

This Thursday (18), OneWeb advanced one more step in the expansion of its internet satellite constellation. Through the partnership signed with the French company Arianespace, a Soyuz rocket was launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome, taking 34 new company satellites into space . OneWeb now has 358 satellites in orbit — more than half of the proposed total for the constellation.

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  • According to information from Arianespace, the mission lasted three hours and 36 minutes and the satellites were released along nine separation sequences, at the altitude of 450 km. “Precisely one hour and 18 minutes after takeoff, during the first sequence, we officially crossed the halfway mark to the implementation of the constellation”, celebrated Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace.

    According to him, another 8 releases will be operated by the company at the end of next year to finalize the implementation of the constellation. Now, the satellites will ascend until they reach operational orbits, at 1.200 km above the Earth, accompanied by hundreds of previously launched units by Arianespace. Soon, other units will join them, as OneWeb hopes to reach the total of 648 satellites in its constellation.

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  • Once up and running, OneWeb’s network will be able to offer 3G, LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi coverage to its customers , with high-speed access around the world — whether in the air, on land or at sea. It is estimated that the service will start in some regions of the northern hemisphere by the end of this year, and full global coverage will be for 648.

    It is worth remembering that the service offered by OneWeb has strong competitors: SpaceX, for example, has already launched more than 1.648 Starlink satellites, which will also offer global connectivity to their users, and hope to expand this number by tens of thousands of units. In parallel, there is Amazon and its Project Kuiper, which will also be a constellation of internet satellites. So far, no units have been released.

    Source: Space.com, Arianespace

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    2022

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