OneWeb: 582 satellites in orbit
March 10, 2023
By Chris Forrester
SpaceX delivered one of its textbook launches for OneWeb on March 9th. OneWeb later confirmed that all was well with the batch of 40 craft.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 mission took off from Space Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on March 9, at 2:13 pm Florida-time (19.13 UTC). The satellites were deployed to low-Earth Orbit in a series of three separate sequences over the 1 hour and 35-minute mission. The rocket’s booster safely returned to land after the deployments.
This was the third launch for OneWeb from SpaceX. The satellite operator has one more launch remaining, where it will use an Indian rocket.
This launch is OneWeb’s 17th to date and the penultimate mission as the company is set to complete its first-generation (Gen 1) LEO satellite constellation and enable global coverage in 2023. With 582 satellites now in orbit, OneWeb will complete global footprint of its Gen 1 constellation with a launch set to take place later in March 2023 with ISRO/NSIL.
“Today’s launch enables OneWeb to continue expanding its connectivity capabilities as it grows its fleet of satellites and seeks to initiate services for more partners around the world,” said the company. “OneWeb already has connectivity solutions active today in key geographies across the globe and is bringing new areas online by partnering with leading providers including VEON, Orange, Galaxy Broadband, Paratus, Telespazio, and more. OneWeb and its partners are relentlessly focused on the mission to bridge the digital divide and provide internet connectivity to a greater number of unconnected and underserved rural and remote communities and businesses.”
Neil Masterson, CEO/OneWeb, commented: “Today’s launch is an exciting milestone as we are now just one mission away from completing our Gen 1 constellation, which will activate global service in 2023. Now more than ever, OneWeb is dedicated to continuing the momentum we have garnered from the past 17 successful launches, to innovate alongside our trusted partners and deliver connectivity solutions at scale. Each launch is a group effort, and today’s success would not have been possible without the dedication of the entire launch team and our partners here in Florida.”