With a launch mass of 886 kilograms (147.7 kg per satellite), these six satellites placed at an altitude of 1,000 kilometres are the first of 650 in the OneWeb constellation of new-generation satellites that will supply global communications services and ensure continuous Internet access for everyone, everywhere. The constellation will subsequently scale to more than 900 satellites as it grows to meet demand around the world. OneWeb will begin customer demos in 2020 and provide global, 24-hour coverage in 2021.
The prime contractor for the constellation is OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space.
On the occasion of this launch, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “This 21st success for Soyuz from the Guiana Space Centre is a great source of satisfaction for all of the teams involved. It not only confirms Soyuz’s ability to launch multiple satellites, but also that Europe’s range of launchers is geared to the requirements of the global market. I would like to congratulate all of our partners at OneWeb, ESA, Arianespace, Starsem and European and Russian manufacturers, and of course at CNES, particularly the teams at the Launch Vehicles Directorate (DLA) and the CSG who developed and operate the Soyuz system there.”
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