Jean-Marc Nasr, head of Space Systems at Airbus Defence & Space, says that its Florida joint-venture factory (with OneWeb) is now turning out an average of 1.5 satellites a day. However, another OneWeb executive said that recently they completed three satellites in 1 day.
Nasrt told delegates at the Satellite 2020 conference that OneWeb’s first major batch of satellites, 34 of which were orbited in February, are working well and that another similar batch will launch on March 21st from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.
However, there’s a long way to go. The February launch was the first of at least 10 planned for this year each of which will carry about 34 satellites. The overall scheme calls for around 648 satellites to be in orbit during 2021, although OneWeb has repeatedly said that a limited broadband service could debut later this year.
Each of these satellites is designed to last for some 5 years in orbit from their orbital height of 1200 kms.
Overall, OneWeb wants to place 1980 satellites into orbit to cope with anticipated broadband demand.