OneWeb, which should be emerging from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early December, has shipped a batch of satellites to the Russian launch site at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, in Russia’s Far East.
Vostochny, which means ‘Eastern’ in Russian, is Russia’s second spaceport and designed to take the launch pressure from its main rocket site at Baikonur in Kazakhstan.
Arianespace is responsible for the launch and said in September that it expected OneWeb’s resumed launches to restart in December. The launches will then put OneWeb back on track to complete the deployment of its full global constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites by the end of 2022.
This December launch represents part of an amended agreement with Arianespace and provides for 16 launches placing another 34-36 satellites per launch into OneWeb’s growing constellation. OneWeb’s return-to-flight launch in December will increase OneWeb’s in-orbit fleet to 110 satellites.
OneWeb then plans to commence commercial services by the end of 2021. Initial regions to be covered will include: the UK, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic seas and Canada.
The amended launch agreement between OneWeb and Arianespace, which remains subject to confirmation by the bankruptcy court and consummation of OneWeb’s restructuring plan, is an important milestone for OneWeb as it plans to emerge from the Chapter 11,