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Third successful commercial OneWeb satellites launch from Vostochny

(26 April 2021 - Roscosmos, OneWeb) A successful launch of 36 OneWeb satellites aboard the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage was executed on Monday from the Russian cosmodrome Vostochny.

The launch of the spacecraft was carried out under the contracts of Glavkosmos (a subsidiary of Roscosmos) with the European launch services provider Arianespace, which provides and operates the launch of OneWeb spacecraft with the use of the Soyuz launch vehicle, and the Russian-French company Starsem.

(courtesy: Roscosmos)

Today's launch was the third fully commercial launch of spacecraft from Vostochny. The previous two launches from Vostochny were also for the OneWeb mission. The launch was executed by the joint team, which combined the specialists of Roscosmos enterprises - Progress Rocket Space Center, NPO Lavochkin, TsENKI, Glavkosmos – and those of the foreign customers.

OneWeb's satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine batches over a period of 3 hours 52 minutes with signal acquisition on all 36 satellites confirmed.

This successful launch brings its total in-orbit constellation to 182 satellites. These will form part of OneWeb's 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity, and represents 60 percent of the constellation required to enable its connectivity solution to reach all regions north of 50 degrees latitude by June 2021.

This is the third in a five-launch 'Five to 50' programme, enabling OneWeb to offer services across the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Artic Seas and Canada, and will be switched on before the end of the year. OneWeb then intends to make global service available in 2022.

Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO commented: "These are exciting times at OneWeb as we get ever closer to bringing our connectivity services to some of the world's hardest to reach places. With this third successful launch in our 'Five to 50' programme, we are rapidly building momentum: we are launching more satellites, demonstrating the network, and announcing more distribution signings around the globe. We have a world class team and product, and alongside our supportive shareholders, OneWeb continues to work towards bringing connectivity to everyone, everywhere."

About OneWeb

OneWeb is a global communications network powered from space, headquartered in London, enabling connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities. It is implementing a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites with a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals to provide an affordable, fast, high-bandwidth and low-latency communications service, connected to the IoT future and a pathway to 5G for everyone, everywhere.