A successful launch of 34 OneWeb satellites aboard the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage was executed on Saturday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Roscosmos space agency reports. The launch of the spacecraft was carried out under the contract between Glavkosmos and France’s Arianespace.
Within 3.5 hours after the separation of the Fregat upper stage from the third stage of the launch vehicle, the satellites were separated from the upper stage in nine groups. All spacecraft are placed into their orbits.
It was the third launch of the OneWeb satellites and it brought the number of OneWeb spacecraft in low Earth orbit to 74. The first six OneWeb satellites were launched from the spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana) by Soyuz-ST on February 28, 2019. Another batch of 34 OneWeb satellites was successfully launched into their orbits on February 7, 2020 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard the Soyuz-2.1 b with the Fregat upper stage. In total, OneWeb intends to deploy more than 600 satellites in low Earth orbit and provide 24-hour communication coverage of the Earth.
OneWeb low Earth orbit satellites are designed to provide consumers on the ground with the high-speed Internet directly through satellite communications. The orbital constellation will consist of 18 planes with 36 satellites in each.