OneWeb Likely Turns to SpaceX for Launches

OneWeb has been making a satellite network of about 648 satellites. They have launched 428 but still need to launch 220. Russia Soyuz rockets were being used for the launches but now Russia might not launch the satellites.

The satellites are in a circular low Earth orbit, at approximately 1,200 km (750 mi) altitude. They use the Ku-band of the radio frequency spectrum.

OneWeb plans to service mainly large business and government clients that sometimes need high-speed communication alternative to fiber communication.

SpaceX Starlink has 2000 satellites in orbit and will soon have 12000 Generation 1 Starlink satellites. Starlink will then add 30,000 Generation 2 Starlink satellites.

If Russia flakes on launching OneWeb satellites, then OneWeb likely has to turn to SpaceX for the six launches that they need. Oneweb using Ariane would be more expensive and using China launches would still have political risks.

SOURCES- UPI, Wikipedia, Oneweb, Starlink
Written by Brian Wang,

6 thoughts on “OneWeb Likely Turns to SpaceX for Launches”

  1. I think they used Arianespace previously, but on Europeanized Soyuz. Which are also being canceled, so Arianespace will have trouble reallocating contracted launches to Ariane and/or Vega. Those launchers are not reusable like SpaceX's, and they can't extend their build capacity overnight.

  2. Interesting problem is the ITU/FCC deadline requirements for constellation buildout for their spectrum allocation. Normally for a new launch contract, it's 2 years considering some NRE involved with changing the sat dispenser to fit on Falcon 9. Even if SpaceX could get that down to a year, that's still knock-on effects for the constellation buildout, along with the effective loss of the sats at Baikonur (since they are usually delivered via AN-124's in their cargo container). Unless they get some sort of deadline extension due to sanctions/war, they may lose their spectrum license. SpaceX can point to Starlink and Iridium in a protest action against a deadline extension.

  3. After the drama with OneWeb and the way they were treated by Rogozin, telling them basically "it's our way or the highway" while keeping the payments, I think it will be hard for Russia to get any space launch customers in the future.

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