Oneweb successfully launched 36 satellites to join the global broadband communication constellation


Source: Beta
Oneweb, the satellite operator, has sent 36 new satellites to join its existing on orbit spacecraft constellation. This is the third batch of satellites delivered by oneweb, following the first launch of six satellites in 2019 and the second and third launch of 34 satellites each in February and March this year. The company had experienced financial difficulties in the process, leading it to file for bankruptcy protection in March and then to get out of the bankruptcy process in July, thanks to a deal partly funded by the UK government and partly funded by Bharti.
Today’s launch took off from the Vostochny launch site using a Russian soyuz-2.1b rocket. This is the first commercial launch from the vostochini launch site in history (previously commercial launches conducted by the Russian space agency used the Baikonur space launch site), which means that oneweb can launch 36 satellites instead of 34 satellites, because it is better positioned relative to oneweb’s target orbit.
Oneweb is building a LEO satellite constellation that will provide high bandwidth connectivity for earth based networks. The company’s goal is to eventually have 648 satellites in orbit and intends to speed up the launch in order to achieve the goal by 2022, thus providing customers with global network coverage.
Satellite launch and launch are key to oneweb’s ability to generate revenue from its products. The company is also competing with major, well capitalized low earth orbit networks that SpaceX and Amazon are creating. The analysis suggests that there should be enough space for multiple winners in the low earth orbit broadband market, because there is no lack of demand for high-quality connectivity worldwide.
While oneweb’s arrangements with Bharti and the UK government helped it out of bankruptcy, Bharti founder and chairman Sunil Mittal said earlier this week that the company might need to raise a total of $2.5 billion to complete its constellation – half of which is provided by the UK / Bharti consortium.