OneWeb deployment reaches halfway point with Soyuz 2.1b launch

The initial deployment of OneWeb’s satellite broadband constellation will reach its halfway stage on Thursday with the launch of 36 more spacecraft aboard a Russian Soyuz 2.1b rocket. Liftoff from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Eastern Russia is scheduled for 18:40 local time (09:40 UTC) on October 14. Thursday’s launch is the 11th in a series of flights to deploy OneWeb’s initial constellation of 648 satellites. With 322 satellites already in orbit and 36 more on the way with this launch, the completion of this mission will mean more than half of the initial constellation has been deployed. OneWeb satellite constellation Founded by American businessman Greg Wyler in 2012, OneWeb aims to provide high-speed satellite broadband with a large fleet of small satellites in low Earth orbit similar to SpaceX’s Starlink constellation. Unlike Starlink, OneWeb sees its primary customer base as business and government users. Satellite internet services are seen as a way to bring high-speed connectivity to regions that cannot easily be served by terrestrial broadband – for example, remote rural locations where the infrastructure may not exist and would not be cost-effective to develop. Traditional communications satellites operate in geostationary orbits, high above the Earth’s equator; however, this presents a difficulty…

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OneWeb deployment reaches halfway point with Soyuz 2.1b launch

Updated: October 13, 2021 — 10:26 pm