OneWeb has successfully launched 34 more satellites aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

The launch took place on Saturday with the satellites separating and dispensing from the rocket in nine batches. This weekend’s launch was the second of OneWeb’s 34 satellite launches in six weeks. It brings the total number of satellites in the constellation to 74.

OneWeb has deployed and tested satellites, installed ground stations globally, secured valuable spectrum and has a range of user terminals in development to meet customer needs. OneWeb will now put in place the execution phase of its systems development, bringing its services to markets including aviation and maritime and working with carriers to provide services in rural and remote areas.

Need for greater connectivity highlighted by COVID-19 pandemic

OneWeb highlighted the need and demand for connectivity in the current global health and economic crisis, especially for rural and under-connected communities worldwide. The company said it was making significant strides to deliver the connectivity that is currently lacking around the world. This would enable applications including remote working, online learning, accessing healthcare information and medical advice.

Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb, said: “In these unprecedented times following the global outbreak of COVID-19, people around the world find themselves trying to continue their lives and work online. We see the need for OneWeb, greater now more than ever before. High-quality connectivity is the lifeline to enabling people to work, continue their education, stay up to date on important healthcare information and stay meaningfully connected to one another.

“The crisis has demonstrated the imperative need for connectivity everywhere and has exposed urgent shortcomings in many organisations’ connectivity capabilities. Our satellite network is poised to fill in many of these critical gaps in the global communications infrastructure.”