FIRST UP Satcom | First OneWeb satellites shipped for launch • Laser ground stations linked to Facebook
OneWeb and its manufacturing partner Airbus Defence and Space have shipped the first six satellites of OneWeb’s broadband smallsat constellation from Toulouse, France, to French Guiana.
European launch provider Arianespace is planning to conduct a record number of Vega launches this year, and, if OneWeb is ready, a return to launching from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
One of Orbcomm’s first-generation satellites broke up Dec. 22, resulting in 34 trackable objects, according to the U.S. Air Force’s 18 Space Control Squadron
Greg Wyler, OneWeb’s founder, said the company will need only 600 satellites or so instead of 900 after ground tests of the first satellites demonstrated better than expected performance.
Eric Béranger, former chief executive of satellite constellation venture OneWeb, has left the company entirely, OneWeb confirmed Oct. 15.
Arianespace said Oct. 11 it’s too soon to say whether the Soyuz-ST rockets it uses to launch satellites from South America will be grounded following the failure of a Russian Soyuz-FG rocket carrying crew to the International Space Station.
OneWeb in 2015 set the goal of building 900 satellites for no more $500,000 a piece. Now the startup's president will only say "below $1 million."
Airbus will be producing at least two 150-kilogram satellites per day at the Florida facility. Tim Deaver: “We’re confident we can get to 10 per week quickly."
Wyler said OneWeb’s network will use more than 40 gateways around the world, each capable of “seeing” satellites up to 4,000 kilometers away. OneWeb may add more gateways to appease regulators, he said, but the current architecture provides global coverage.
Startup with SoftBank, Airbus investment planning video constellation with several hundred satellites
A satellite startup that today announced SoftBank, Airbus, Bill Gates and OneWeb founder Greg Wyler as investors says it has plans to field a constellation of hundreds of satellites to provide global video of the Earth, but provided few details on how it will accomplish that goal.
Citing recent reforms that provide more time to orbit a new satellite constellation, satellite broadband-startup OneWeb asked U.S. telecom regulators to nearly triple the size of its authorized low-Earth-orbit constellation.
Broadband megaconstellations are expensive propositions, with SpaceX’s Starlink constellation expected to cost $10 billion or more, and OneWeb expecting to spend $3 billion. The actual cost could ultimately be higher.
OneWeb’s largest investor SoftBank expects to bring in several partners to help sell OneWeb capacity, including potentially other geostationary satellite operators.
SoftBank is actively considering future investments in the satellite industry, including investments related to low-Earth orbit broadband startup OneWeb, the head of SoftBank’s merger and acquisition and corporate finance division said today.