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OneWeb Launches 36 Satellites into Orbit

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OneWeb launches satellites to roll out northern internet service36 Broadband Satellites of OneWeb (a venture backed by Bharti Airtel) were launched into orbit by a Soyuz rocket from Vostochny Cosmodrome in Siberia, Russia.  The launch of the satellites will enable it to provide commercial internet services in areas of the Northern Hemisphere (areas north of 50th Degree Latitude) by the end of 2021.

  • UK, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, Continental US, the Arctic Seas and Canada are the countries/regions which have been covered.
  • This mission was the OneWeb 8, the eighth OneWeb launch since the first satellites launched in 2019, and will bring the total number of satellites in OneWeb’s blooming internet constellation up to 254.
  • The launch marks the completion of OneWeb’s ‘Five to 50’ ambition to bring into orbit the satellites required to enable connectivity services to the Northern Hemisphere and above before the end of 2021.
  • One Web will start full satellite broadband service in India by May 2022.

Key Points

i.OneWeb is aiming to launch a total of 648 satellites to provide high-speed internet connectivity to customers around the world (SpaceX’s Starlink internet constellation is expected to have around 12,000 satellites).

ii.OneWeb resumed satellite launches in December, 2020 after emerging from bankruptcy protection with USD 1 billion in equity investment from a consortium of British government and India’s Bharti Enterprises.

  • It has also received investment from Japan’s Softbank and Eutelsat Communications. It is now fully funded and has secured USD 2.4 Billion in total from investments.

Recent Related News:

May 14, 2021, OneWeb has signed an Cooperative agreement with SoftBank Group Corp, a Japanese multinational holding company to promote its satellite communication services in the Global and Japan markets.

About OneWeb

CEO – Neil Masterson
Executive Chairman – Sunil Bharti Mittal
Headquarters – London, United Kingdom