OneWeb, which is developing a connectivity solution aiming to be available to everyone everywhere, has confirmed that 34 satellites will be launched on 6-7 February from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
This marks the start of a regular launch campaign during 2020 that will rapidly grow OneWeb’s first-phase constellation of 648 satellites and represents one of the largest civilian satellite launch campaigns in history. Each satellite forms an integral part of the high-speed global satellite broadband network and together should activate OneWeb’s first customer demos by the end of 2020 to provide full commercial global services for sectors such as maritime, aviation, government and enterprise in 2021.
In this first OneWeb launch of 2020, 34 satellites will be aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle. Arianespace will perform the launch, which will place the satellites into a near polar orbit at an initial altitude of 450km, from where they will rise to their final orbit of 1,200km and form part of OneWeb’s global communications network. All the satellites are manufactured by OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space.
OneWeb has chosen the theme Space for Everyone for the first part of its 2020 launch programme, showing how space is becoming more relevant to everyday life as an important source of connectivity. In collaboration with governments, investors and distribution partners, OneWeb aims to bring its customers a new experience of connectivity together with social, educational and sustainability benefits. OneWeb’s vision is to see every school connected and it continues to be committed to tackling the digital divide that exists between the connected and unconnected.