Bharti-backed OneWeb on Friday confirmed successfully deploying 40 satellites put up by a SpaceX rocket that took off from a launch station in Florida.
This launch is OneWeb’s 17th to-date and the penultimate mission, setting up the company set to complete its first-generation (Gen 1) low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation and enable global coverage in 2023. With 582 satellites now in orbit, OneWeb will complete a global footprint of its Gen 1 constellation with a launch set to take place later this month with Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).
The latest lift-off took place on Thursday at 2:13pm at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and OneWeb’s satellites separated successfully from the rocket and were dispensed using three separation groups over a period of 40 minutes. Signal acquisition on all 40 satellites has been confirmed.
The launch enables OneWeb to continue expanding its connectivity as it grows its fleet of satellites and seeks to initiate services for more partners around the world. OneWeb already has connectivity solutions 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 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.
“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,” said Neil Masterson, chief executive officer of OneWeb.