First phase launch of 34 satellites marks start of one of history’s biggest civilian satellite launch campaigns

Global communications company OneWeb is set to launch 34 satellites this Thursday (6 February), the start of one of the biggest civilian satellite launch campaigns in history.

The company, which has the mission to bring connectivity to everyone, everywhere, is to launch the satellites at 21:42 (GMT) (Friday 7 February 0242 local time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Thursday’s launch will mark the start of a regular launch campaign during 2020, rapidly growing OneWeb’s first phase constellation of 648 satellites.

Global services available in 2021

Each satellite forms an integral part of the high-speed global satellite broadband network and together will activate OneWeb’s first customer demos by the end of 2020, providing full commercial global services for sectors such as maritime, aviation, government and enterprise in 2021.

In the first OneWeb launch of 2020, thirty-four 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 450 kilometres from where they will rise to their final orbit of 1,200 kilometres and form part of OneWeb’s global communications network.

Satellites manufactured in joint venture with Airbus

The satellites have been 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 launch of its 2020 launch programme, demonstrating how space is becoming more relevant to everyday life as an important source of connectivity.

In collaboration with governments, investors and distribution partners, OneWeb will 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 connected and unconnected. The #OneWebLaunch can be followed on the company’s social media channels.
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