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OneWeb’s Russian $1bn launch plans at risk

November 15, 2018

By Chris Forrester

OneWeb wants to encircle the planet with around 900 smallish satellites to provide global broadband access. OneWeb wants to start launching its first satellites this winter, but a key part of its overall launch strategy is their use of Russian rockets.

Russian news site Kommersant reports that Russia’s space agency Roscosmos is likely to lose its existing $1 billion launch contract which covers 21 Soyuz rockets to be deployed between 2019-2021 from three launch sites: Baikonur (Kazakhstan), Vostochny (Russia) and Kourou (French Guiana).

The problems have come about because of objections by Russia’s FSB (its Federal Security Service) and which says the launches are a threat to national security.

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