OneWeb readies next 36 satellites
March 22, 2021
By Chris Forrester
An Arianespace Soyuz rocket will orbit 36 OneWeb low earth orbiting satellites this week. Launch date is scheduled for March 25th subject to the usual weather and technical constraints.
Arianespace will use Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome in the far East of the country for this, its fifth launch flight for OneWeb.
The satellites will be placed into a routine near-Polar orbit at an initial altitude of 450 kms, and will be deployed in batches of 4 satellites across a series of 9 deployments whilst in space. One their orbits have been raised they will operate at 1200 kms above ground.
The launch will take the overall OneWeb fleet to 146 satellites in orbit, with 110 having been launched from either Arianespace’s French Guiana (in February 2019) or the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as well as Vostochny.
OneWeb, now owned by the UK government and India’s Bharti Group, is planning a constellation of 650 satellites.
The satellites are being built by a OneWeb-Airbus joint-venture in Florida.