Jersey’s OneWeb to launch from Florida
April 18, 2016
By Chris Forrester
Local reports suggest that Jersey-based OneWeb will confirm on April 19th that it will build hundreds of its proposed satellites at a new facility within the Kennedy Space Center’s Exploration Park on Florida’s Space Coast.
OneWeb is said to be proposing that the Exploration Park’s manufacturing hub could become a new centre for satellite building excellence. OneWeb wants to build and launch 900 small satellites in a constellation to totally girdle the Earth and bring affordable Internet access to everyone.
The scheme calls for the constellation to supply bandwidth to users on the ground, and to supply low-cost connectivity for passengers in aircraft, cruise ships as well as the maritime and oil-rig sector.
The scheme sees the first satellites being orbited during 2019.
Airbus Defense & Space is an investor in the OneWeb project, and has said it plans to build more than one satellite a day. Other investors include Coca-Cola, Qualcomm, Virgin Group and Intelsat. Each satellite weighs about 330 lbs.
As well as Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, which hopes to be part of the satellite launch solution with its LauncherOne rocket plane, it is also known that billionaire Jeff Bezos is planning to build and then launch its ‘Blue Origin’ rocket from a nearby site.