Airbus and OneWeb form joint venture to build 900 satellites

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Airbus and OneWeb on Jan. 26 announced they had formed the company OneWeb Satellites, which will build the OneWeb constellation – 648 satellites plus spares, for a total of about 900.

The two companies said Brian Holz, OneWeb’s chief technology offer, would be chief executive of OneWeb Satellites, in which Airbus and OneWeb will have equal ownership shares.

The first 10 satellites will be built at Airbus’s Toulouse, France, facility and launched aboard Russian Soyuz rockets — either the Europeanized version operated from Europe’s spaceport here, or the fully Russian version launched form Russian territory — in 2018.

The remaining 890 OneWeb spacecraft are to be built at a U.S. facility that industry officials say is likely to be located in Florida but has not yet been announced.