Performed on Monday, April 26, at precisely 07:14 a.m. local time at Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome (22:14 a.m. on April 25, UTC), Soyuz Flight ST31 orbited 36 new OneWeb satellites. That brings the size of the OneWeb fleet on-orbit to 182 in number.
Flight ST31 was the 56th Soyuz mission carried out by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate.
Arianespace has launched 182 OneWeb satellites through six Soyuz launches to date. Pursuant to an amended launch contract with OneWeb, Arianespace will perform 13 more Soyuz launches through 2021 and 2022.
These launches will enable OneWeb to complete the deployment of its full global constellation of low Earth orbit satellites by the end of 2022. OneWeb’s mission is to bring internet everywhere to everyone, by creating a global connectivity platform through a next-generation satellite constellation in LEO.
The OneWeb constellation will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity to a wide range of customer sectors, including aviation, maritime, backhaul services, and for governments, emergency response services and more. Central to its purpose, OneWeb seeks to bring connectivity to every place where fiber cannot reach, and thereby bridge the digital divide.
The satellite prime contractor is OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture of OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space. The satellites were produced in Florida, USA, in the company’s leading-edge satellite manufacturing facilities that can build up to two satellites per day on a series production line dedicated to spacecraft assembly, integration, and testing.
“Congratulations to all the teams who made this latest mission from the Vostochny Cosmodrome a success. This launch again confirms Arianespace’s ability to deploy the OneWeb constellation through the use of three different Soyuz launch sites – in French Guiana, Kazakhstan and Russia,” said Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace. “I want to sincerely thank OneWeb for its trust. I am delighted that our company has contributed – for the sixth time – to this client’s ultimate ambition of providing Internet access to everyone, anywhere, at any time.”