Russia’s Roscomos space agency says that the next batch of OneWeb satellites will launch on December 27th, subject to the usual weather conditions.
Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin, talking at the EAEU business forum Space Integration on Decenber 3rd, said: “The launch of a Soyuz-2.1b rocket with OneWeb satellites is planned for December 27.”
The launch, organised by Arianespace but using a Soyuz rocket, will take place from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan. It isn’t yet known how many satellites the rocket will carry, but the usual manifest is about 34-36 craft.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder & chairman, Bharti Enterprises which is a major shareholder in OneWeb, talking last week said that all the test transmissions to and from the OneWeb fleet have been successful. He commented: “Latency is less than 50 milliseconds, and speeds are 100 Mbps or more. So, it’s looking like a final solution to connect those people who have been left behind. So I am very excited about this. I call it a telecom network in space.”
OneWeb, he added, is already working on the second version: “We have already started to produce a design will have thermal imaging, surveillance, special payloads of the government needs. These will then give you (information about) forest fires, agriculture, issues in the underground rainfall patterns. All these will come in the future generation, which is three, four years away. It’s not decades away.”
Meanwhile, it has emerged that OneWeb has signed a development agreement with GDC Advanced Technology to create an In-Flight Communications terminal for fitting to aircraft.