Arianespace at the OneWeb constellation’s service for the third time
(17 March 2020 - Arianespace) For its fourth mission of the year – and the second flight in 2020 with the Soyuz medium-lift launcher – Arianespace will perform the third launch for the OneWeb constellation, orbiting 34 satellites.
This 51st Soyuz mission conducted by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate will be operated from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It will pave the way for the constellation’s deployment phase – for which Arianespace is planned to perform 18 more medium-lift Soyuz launches from three spaceports (Kourou, Baikonur and Vostochny) during 2020 and 2021, without mentioning the Ariane 62 maiden flight.
By operating this third flight on behalf of the global satellite operator OneWeb, Arianespace participates in the fulfilment of its customer’s ultimate ambition: providing internet access for everyone, everywhere.
Flight ST28 will be performed from the Soyuz Launch Complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Flight ST28, the 28th Soyuz commercial mission from the Baikonur Cosmodrome performed by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate, will put 34 OneWeb satellites into a near polar orbit at an altitude of 450 kilometers. After separation, the satellites will raise themselves to their operational orbit.
The initial six OneWeb satellites were successfully orbited by Arianespace on Soyuz Flight VS21 from French Guiana on February 27, 2019. On February 7, 2020, Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate launched successfully from Baikonour 34 OneWeb satellites on Soyuz Flight ST27.
OneWeb’s mission is to deliver global communications through a next-generation satellite constellation that will bring seamless connectivity to everyone, everywhere.
To achieve its purpose, OneWeb is building a network composed of low-Earth orbit satellites that will provide high-speed, low latency services to a wide range of customers in sectors that include aeronautics, maritime, backhaul services, community Wi-Fi, emergency response services and more. Central to its mission, OneWeb also will focus on connecting schools and bridging the digital divide for people everywhere.
Once deployed, the OneWeb constellation will enable user terminals capable of offering 3G, LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi coverage, providing high-speed access around the world – by air, sea and land.
OneWeb Satellites – a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space – is the constellation’s prime contractor. The OneWeb spacecraft for Flight ST28 were built in OneWeb Satellites’ Florida-based series production line dedicated to the assembly, integration, and test of the OneWeb satellites. They will be the 41st to 74th OneWeb satellites to be launched by Arianespace.
Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 600 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore.
Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.
Starsem is dedicated to providing international commercial marketing and operation of the Soyuz launch vehicle from the Baikonur cosmodrome. Shareholders in Starsem are Arianespace, ArianeGroup, the State Space Corporation ROSCOSMOS and the Samara Space Center “RKTs-Progress.”