7 Feb 2020 10:24

British OneWeb communication satellites put into orbit

MOSCOW. Feb 7 (Interfax) - All 34 communication satellites of the British company OneWeb have separated from the Fregat booster stage of Russia's Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle, which took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Roscosmos said on Twitter.

"Successful separation of all 34 OneWeb communication satellites from the Fregat booster stage has been confirmed. They have been delivered to their target orbits," Roscosmos said.

The Soyuz rocket blasted off from Baikonur at 12:42 a.m. Moscow time on Friday to put 34 OneWeb Internet satellites into orbit. The booster stage and the satellites separated from the rocket's third stage at 12:51 a.m. Moscow time. The satellites separated from Fregat within the next 3.5 hours.

This was the second launch of OneWeb satellites out of 21 launches planned and the first OneWeb mission accomplished from Baikonur.

Roscosmos signed a contract with Arianespace and OneWeb in June 2015 for 21 commercial launches of 672 OneWeb communication satellites with Soyuz-2 rockets equipped with Fregat booster stages from Baikonur, Vostochny, and the Guiana Space Center.

The first launch was performed from Kourou in spring 2019. The OneWeb cluster will provide broadband Internet service on a global scale.