OneWeb added 36 more satellites to its constellation over the weekend, bringing the total to 462 Gen 1 satellites in orbit. Launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SDSC-SHAR in Sriharikota, India, marks the first dedicated commercial launch for NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) using the LVM3 rocket. It also marks the renewal of launches for the LEO satellite operator, suspended earlier this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
I am proud to be here in Sriharikota, with our partners, ISRO and NSIL. Today my dream of having an Indian element in the OneWeb constellation has been realized. This launch with ISRO and NSIL opens up the space sector in India with the possibility of billions of dollars flowing into the country.– Sunil Bharti Mittal, Executive Chairman of OneWeb
With the European Space Agency no longer able to facilitate launches on Soyuz rockets, OneWeb was forced to scramble for replacement launch options. The contract with NSIL was executed in record time, and delivered the satellites as contracted.
This is OneWeb’s 14th launch, bringing the constellation to 462 satellites. This launch represents more than 70% of its planned 648 low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity worldwide.
OneWeb also contracted with SpaceX for additional launches. The next launch is expected in mid-November, on a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral. Three additional launches are expected in 2023 to complete the constellation.
OneWeb remains on track to activate global coverage in 2023, while its connectivity solutions are already live in regions north of 50-degrees latitude.
As the constellation grows, so do the partnerships for delivery of service. Most recently, OneWeb announced a long-expected deal with Panasonic Avionics to deliver services for the commercial aviation segment. OneWeb also has partnerships with Intelsat for commercial aviation, as well as with Gogo and Satcom Direct for the business aviation market.
OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson notes that the partnerships will continue to grow in the months ahead. The company will “work with key distribution partners and customers to roll out connectivity solutions where its services are live. OneWeb will advance innovative strategic partnerships with leading companies in the communications sector, and sign agreements in the coming months to support the rollout of its coverage solutions.”
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