OneWeb 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.
Lift-off occurred on 25 April 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 Low Earth Orbit (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’ programme, enabling OneWeb to offer services across the U.K., 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.
Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO commented, “These are exciting times at OneWeb as we get ever closer to bringing our connectivity services to some of the world’s hardest to reach places. With this third successful launch in our ‘5 to 50’ programme, we are rapidly building momentum: we are launching more satellites, demonstrating the network and announcing more distribution signings around the globe. We have a world class team and product, and alongside our supportive shareholders, OneWeb continues to work towards bringing connectivity to everyone, everywhere.”