Advanced Television

OneWeb gets ITU deadline extension

July 11, 2022

By Chris Forrester

Liechtenstein was turned down by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) last week in its request to grant its licence-holder Rivada Space a one-year extension to its launch plans for two 300-satellite constellations. But the ITU has granted a French National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) application on behalf of OneWeb and Airbus an eight-month extension to begin operation of a Q-band and V-band payload on one of its satellites.

The French had argued that ‘Force Majeure’ events had forced the payload’s delay which should have launched in April aboard a Soyuz rocket and the confiscation by Russia of a batch of 36 OneWeb satellites at the Baikonur cosmodrome. The ITU agreed.

The satellites, and in particular the Q/V-band vehicle, have been rebuilt by Airbus at their Airbus One Web Satellites joint-venture facility at its Florida factory. SpaceX is scheduled to launch the replacements later this year on a Falcon 9 rocket.

The ITU decision (made by its Radio Regulations Board) have granted OneWeb/Airbus and its contracted launch supplier Arianespace a 3-month delay for the launch delay plus a further 4 months to allow for orbit raising from the SpaceX orbital delivery to OneWeb’s 1200 kms orbital height.

The end result is that OneWeb now has until July 23rd 2023 – a considerable improvement from its November 23rd 2022 original deadline.

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