Soyuz rocket, supported by Arianespace, has reportedly announced launching about 36 new OneWeb internet satellites to the orbit on the night of April 25th, 2021. Reports suggest the move would allow the company to further strengthen its broadband constellation.
As per credible reports, the rocket was blasted off from Vostochny Cosmodrone in eastern Russia at 6:14 pm EDT. It has been speculated that if the launch and deployment goes well according to the plan, the next constellation of satellites would move to a near-polar orbit, merging with an expanding assemblage of satellites, at an altitude of 280 miles.
According to an Arianespace representative, OneWeb stands firm on its mission of providing seamless and fast internet to everyone and everywhere, while building a global connectivity podium through a next-gen satellite constellation in low Earth orbit.
It was added that once incorporated, the constellation would potentially allow user terminals that are capable of offering LTE, 5G, WiFi coverage, and 3G, to be deployed worldwide. Moreover, through this novel launch, Oneweb anticipates scaling its service to underserved, northern areas in Alaska, the UK, Canada, Arctic, Europe, and Greenland, by this year end.
Furthermore, Soyuz rocket was reported to have used a developed and enhanced dispenser system from RUAG Space to deploy the payloads during the OneWeb 4-hour mission.
Meanwhile, OneWeb officials mentioned in a statement that its ‘Five to 50’ program seeks to connect broadband data users in the Northern Hemisphere, with services encompassing Alaska, Northern Europe, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, and the Arctic Seas.
It was also reported that the service would be ready to begin by the end of 2021, with worldwide service available in 2022.
It would be pivotal to note that the flight, designated ST31, is the 6th mission ever launched by Arianespace on behalf of OneWeb. Credible reports have it that once the latest batch is deployed, the latter will have 182 satellites in orbit, with ultimate plans to have nearly 650 satellites in the constellation.