21 Mar 2022 17:02

OneWeb, SpaceX sign agreement to put satellites into orbit

LONDON. March 21 (Interfax) - The British company OneWeb has signed an agreement to put its satellites into orbit with the United States' SpaceX corporation, the company said on its website on Monday.

"OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, announced today that the company and SpaceX have entered into an agreement that will enable OneWeb to resume satellite launches," the website said.

According to OneWeb, the first joint launch with SpaceX is expected in 2022.

OneWeb earlier announced its plans to resume satellite launches in 2022.

OneWeb's satellite constellation currently includes 428 satellites, which is two-thirds of its planned fleet, it said. OneWeb's operational network is accessible "for the remotest parts of the world above 50 degrees north," the company said.

On March 2, Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin said that Roscosmos could cancel the launch of the OneWeb company's satellites from Baikonur, scheduled for March 5, if it did not receive guarantees that they would not be used for military purposes.

OneWeb said on March 3 that it was suspending the launches of its satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

The United States and the European Union announced sanctions against the Russian space sector on February 24. In response to the sanctions imposed by the EU, Rogozin said that Russia was halting Soyuz rocket launches from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou and withdrawing its personnel from there.

The refusal to launch OneWeb satellites will not cause any serious economic damage to Roscosmos, the state space corporation said, adding that OneWeb satellites will remain at the Baikonur Cosmodrome until the situation around the cancellation of the launch is resolved.

OneWeb satellites are manufactured by the OneWeb Satellites company at a facility in the U.S. State of Florida. [The company] is 50% owned by Airbus Defense and Space and 50% by the OneWeb company.