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OneWeb confirms pre-launch “anomaly”

February 1, 2019

By Chris Forrester

Greg Wyler, OneWeb’s founder, has confirmed there is an anomaly on a rocket that was due to launch six of his Low-Earth orbiting satellites.

Wyler, in a Tweet, stressed that his satellites are ready to go, but that the launch will now be “pushed out”.

Experts from Russia’s Soyuz rocket business who are at the Arianespace launch site in Kourou, French Guiana are working on the problem. The Russian team are responsible for the ‘Fregat’ upper stage of the Soyuz rocket, and local reports say that there is a “microhole” in a pipe on the upper stage.

Russian news agency TASS is saying that specialists from the Lavochkin Research and Production Association (Fregat’s manufacturing company] are dealing with this problem, and by the end of the week they should specify the types of the works needed for eliminating it.

The launch was scheduled for February 19, but the indications are that this could now slip into March.

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