The company has launched 36 satellites into orbit in one day.
OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, this week confirmed its successful deployment of 36 satellites on one day of launch operations. The launches took place in nine batches over a period of 3 hours 45 minutes. OneWeb has confirmed signal acquisition on all 36 satellites.
The impressive start leaves no doubt that OneWeb is out to take on Starlink, the LEO satellite company of Elon Musk.
The 36 launches utilized Arianespace technology and took place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. This marks OneWeb’s twelfth launch overall and the ninth since December 2020. The company now boasts a total in-orbit constellation of 394 satellites.
The company says this represents over 60 percent of OneWeb’s planned 648 LEO satellite fleet. The network aims to deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.
Capping off a year of strong growth
This launch caps off a successful 2021 in which OneWeb gained significant momentum across the board, the company says.
In addition, OneWeb continues to see growing demand for its services. In the past month, OneWeb has signed distribution partner agreements with Airbus to provide LEO services for military and governmental use in Europe. The comopany also announced a new Canadian-headquartered distribution partner, Network Innovations. They also plan to expand in Australia through partner Vocus.
These agreements, along with other recent strategic partnership announcements with AT&T, Hughes Network Systems, BT, and Leonardo DRS, will further OneWeb towards its goal of bringing improved digital communication services to some of the hardest to reach parts of the world. Additionally, OneWeb acquired TrustComm in 2021. That company is now OneWeb Technologies. It focuses on meeting the complex needs of government customers.
Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO, commented. “Today’s launch is a great way for OneWeb to complete a highly successful year. I have been immensely proud to lead the business and our team over the last year as we continue to make substantial progress launching our global network, and I look forward to building on this momentum in 2022.”