OneWeb lifts off: Next batch ready to launch
by Staff Writers
Exploration Park FL (SPX) Feb 04, 2020
34 satellites for the OneWeb constellation are ready for launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The satellites which arrived in two shipments, including one last week, have been tested, and have now been fitted into the dispenser of the Soyuz-2.1b rocket. OneWeb's upcoming launch of 34 satellites has been scheduled for Thursday 6 February 21:42 (GMT) / Friday 7 February 02:42 (local time) from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
"This launch will be a massive step forward for OneWeb - one step closer to the ambition of improving global connectivity. These 34 satellites will join the six currently operating flawlessly in orbit. Our joint venture OneWeb Satellites produces two satellites a day - in series production, just like Airbus makes planes," said Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Airbus Space Systems.
The satellites, which are manufactured at 1/50th of the cost of a traditional spacecraft, are all fitted with plasma thrusters enabling them to reach their correct position in low Earth orbit at 1,200km.
"Watching the first batch of our factory-built satellites launch from the Soyuz will be the realisation of a four-year journey... and just the beginning," said Tony Gingiss, CEO OneWeb Satellites. "Our factory continues to ramp up and streamline our production to deliver the next batch... and the next... and the next!"
The OneWeb constellation will provide global connectivity with an initial 650 satellites. OneWeb's mission is to provide affordable, high-speed internet connectivity everywhere for everyone, by 2021.
After this first launch from Baikonur, OneWeb is planning to launch around 30 satellites with Soyuz rockets every month.
OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb that was formed in 2016 to design and manufacture the satellites for the OneWeb constellation. In the process, OneWeb Satellites has revolutionised satellite manufacturing by being the first to utilise commoditisation and mass production techniques to dramatically reduce production times and costs. Where a traditional satellite may cost tens of millions of dollars and take years to build, we can do it at a far lower cost and at a production rate of up to two per day.
Fury over 'space junk' mounts as Musk set to launch 60 satellites for Starlink
Washington DC (Sputnik) Jan 29, 2020
Starlink is a vast satellite constellation conceived by American company SpaceX to provide Internet access to remote parts of the globe. It potentially comprises up to 42,000 small satellites. Elon Musk's SpaceX is preparing to launch 60 Starlink "internet satellites" into space on 29 January amid critics' fury over the resulting "wall of space junk" flooding Earth's orbit. The Starlink satellites are tightly packed into a 229-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket, which is currently on a launchpad at F ... read more
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