OneWeb plans the first constellation of 588 satellites with up to 60 orbital spare parts. The company has regulatory approval to launch over 12,000 Starlinks at multiple orbital levels to provide a seamless global service. Because OneWeb satellites operate in a higher orbit than SpaceX Starlinks, fewer relay stations are needed to provide a global service.
The satellites will carry out design activities for the entire satellite fleet, and the first ten aircraft models will be produced in France. The first mass production of operational satellites is planned in North America. Each satellite weighs less than 150 kg and operates in orbit close to Earth.
They will be launched by Arianespace and reach electric orbit positions. Of this constellation, 648 are placed on 18 levels of orbit about 1200 km high. Other satellites are used as spare parts on Earth or in orbit.
Meanwhile, Amazon is answering questions from the FCC about how to maneuver and desorb satellites in the constellation of the Kuiper project. In a recent announcement, FCC SpaceX proposed offering limited services to parts of the United States from the end of next year. OneWeb launched the first six satellites in its constellation in February, and it is expected to launch another 30 satellites in December.
SpaceX has launched 120 Starlink satellites this year and is planning to launch another 120 satellites in the coming weeks. The FCC has forwarded this application to ITU, the UN unit responsible for coordinating spectrum for satellite operators at the international level. A stack of 60 SpaceX Starlink satellites hover above Earth in orbit.
SpaceX made headlines when it comes to satellite constellations. After all, thousands of tiny satellites will work together in the Starlink system to provide Internet access, although only 242 of them have been implemented so far. On Thursday, February 6, OneWeb launched 34 satellites from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan with the Soyuz launch vehicle operated by Arianespace.
OneWeb has gone down in history and launched a campaign to build the largest satellite constellation. We were eagerly watching the Soyuz Arianespace rocket launch the first six satellites. We waited for satellite separation and then for all critical signal acquisitions.
Arianespace was ordered by OneWeb in 2015 to launch the first constellation of 650 OneWeb satellites aboard 21 Soyuz rockets by 2020. Take-offs take place from three predefined spaceports, including Kourou in French Guiana, Baikonur in Kazakhstan, and Vostochy in Russia. OneWeb also has agreements to launch a satellite with Blue Origin and Virgin Orbit.
OneWeb satellites from a composite dispenser or connection interface manufactured by Ruag Space in Sweden. First, two of 147.5 kg of satellites separated from the top of the cluster. Most satellite separation events occurred when Fregate was out of range of ground tracking stations. About an hour later, officials received telemetry data confirming the use of all 34 satellites.
Satellite technology is much, much cheaper than it used to be, and the large number of satellites needed for the network reduces unit costs. Still, the spacecraft made by OneWeb partner Airbus has a price of around $ 1 million. If you add all the ground infrastructure required to operate the system, the total cost will be over three billion. Some previous satellite projects that wanted to build large constellations fell to their knees.
Currently, the leading players of broadband Internet in the US are Viasat and Hughes network systems. However, satellites orbit far away from Earth, and this distance increases the total delay or response time on the network. Mega-constellations plan to operate in orbit around the Earth (LEO) to reduce latency.
Under the OneWeb program, it is qualified according to high-reliability standards and designed for a minimum service life of 5 years in Leo orbits up to a height of 1200 km. To this end, a special organization was implemented in Airbus DS. Production lines are available in Europe and the United States to suit customer needs.
See the launch.