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OneWeb “on schedule” for 720 new satellites

Jersey-based OneWeb’s plans for a constellation of 700 satellites to provide broadband and Internet is on schedule.

According to a report in trade mag Space News the new constellation will have in place its sub-contractors by early August. The preliminary design review has already been concluded.

The plan is to have an initial 10 satellites launched late in 2017, and then tested in orbit to ensure functionality and reliability. This debut also secures the frequencies under ITU rules.

It is only following this launch of an initial 10 satellites that construction will start on an overall total of 890 craft, at a rate of more than one per day. The extra satellites are needed to have back-up satellites ready for launch.

The size of the prospective orders for components dwarfs anything that the satellite industry has ever achieved.

Nevertheless, the plan is on track, says Space News quoting OneWeb’s COO Eric de Saintignon, for the entire constellation to be in orbit by the end of 2019.

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