Arianespace to launch satellites to boost internet connectivity
The firm is set to launch 36 satellites into near-polar orbit in a bid to enhance global internet connectivity.
Flight ST30, Arianespace’s second commercial mission performed in conjunction with a Starsem affiliate from the Vostochny Cosmodrome, is set to launch 36 OneWeb satellites into a near-polar orbit at an altitude of 450 kilometres.
The mission, scheduled for 25 March, is expected to last a total of three hours and 51 minutes and will include nine separations of four satellites, which will raise themselves into operational orbit.
Flight ST30 will increase the total number of satellites deployed on behalf of OneWeb Satellites — a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space — to 146.
OneWeb’s constellation is designed to deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity services to a wide range of customer sectors, including aviation, maritime, backhaul services, governments, and emergency response services.
Once deployed, the OneWeb constellation is expected to enable user terminals capable of offering 3G, LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi coverage to provide high-speed access globally via air, sea and land.
The first six satellites were successfully orbited by Arianespace from French Guiana in February 2019, with a further 68 launched in February and March of 2020 from Baikonur Cosmodrome on two successful Soyuz flights.
In December 2020, the team delivered an additional 36 satellites into orbit, with first commercial flight operated from new Vostochny Cosmodrome.
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