Arianespace has confirmed that it will launch the first batch of 10 OneWeb satellites on February 19th, weather permitting.
The satellites have been built by OneWeb’s satellite building partner, Airbus in Toulouse, and will be launched by a Europeanised version of Russia’s Soyuz rocket from Kourou in French Guiana.
OneWeb has contracted 21 of these launches although most of the remaining launches will take place from Russia.
OneWeb, in December 2018, announced that it had trimmed its planned fleet constellation by 30 per cent to 600 satellites. OneWeb founder Greg Wyler says that ground tests on prototype satellites demonstrated better than expected results.
The current plan from OneWeb is to start services this year or if there’s slippage then starting in 2020.