Russian space agency Roscosmos says that it will bring into use its new ‘Far East’ rocket launch facility at Vostochny for the mega-constellation of OneWeb early next year, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.
Vostochny is now Russia’s second space facility, and will over time take over the launch business currently provided by Baikonur in Kazakhstan.
These planned launches are additional to those being carried out by the Arianespace use of Russian Soyuz rockets which will take place from Kourou also next year. Arianespace used a Soyuz to place the first six OneWeb satellites back in February.
“A contract with OneWeb has been signed. Launches under the OneWeb program are expected to begin early next year,” TsENKI (Russia’s Centre for Operation of Space Ground Segment) chief designer Alexei Bogomolov said in a statement from Roscosmos.
TsENKI is the co-ordinating business providing launch services for Russia’s commercial space activity, and links Baikonur and now Vostochny ads well as the Republic of Kazakhstan.