March 16th saw senior officials from Jersey, Channel Islands-based OneWeb and its Airbus partner break ground on a new factory site at Exploration Park, Florida, where it intends building “thousands” of new satellites.
The $85 million (€79.16m) facility is planned to be in production within a year. OneWeb Satellites CEO Brian Holz told journalists that the initial plan was to produce 2000 satellites, mostly intended to fly in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
But the “thousands” mentioned by Holz takes the overall plan well beyond OneWeb’s initial demand for about 882 Generation 1 satellites for its own scheme.
OneWeb itself has a filing with the FCC for up to 2000 additional satellites. Airbus says the new factory will turn out an average 3 satellites per day once the initial output is validated. Airbus is already building the first 10 ‘pathway’ satellites at its facility in Toulouse, France.