by AFP Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Oct 14, 2021
A Russian Soyuz rocket on Thursday blasted into space carrying 36 new satellites from British operator OneWeb, which aims to provide broadband internet everywhere in the world.
The rocket, operated by Europe's Arianespace, took off at 0940 GMT from the Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia's Far East, broadcast live by the country's Roscosmos space agency.
"LIFTOFF!" Roscosmos tweeted after the launch -- the seventh this year carrying OneWeb satellites.
OneWeb, a London-headquartered company, is working to complete the construction of a constellation of low earth orbit satellites providing enhanced broadband and other services to countries around the world.
The company is competing in the race to provide fast internet for the world's remote areas via satellites along with tech billionaire Elon Musk and fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos of Amazon.
The UK company plans for its global commercial internet service to be operational by next year, supported by some 650 satellites.
Arianespace, which has worked with Russia for close to two decades, is under contract to make 16 Soyuz launches between December 2020 and the end of 2022.
With this latest mission, a total of 358 satellites are now in orbit for the constellation, Roscosmos said.
Eutelsat raises its shareholding in OneWeb
Paris, France (SPX) Oct 07, 2021
Eutelsat Communications has exercised a call option on a portion of the latest OneWeb funding round subscribed by Bharti, for a consideration of $165 million, taking its shareholding from 17.6% to 22.9%. The transaction was undertaken on identical financial terms to Eutelsat's initial investment of $550 million announced in April and completed on 8 September. The completion of this latest transaction is expected around year-end 2021 subject to regulatory authorisations. Since Eutelsat's init ... read more
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