Successful Launch Marks Key Milestone for OneWeb’s ‘Five to 50’ Ambition

Soyuz-2 rocket launches from Vostochny with 36 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Roscosmos, Space Center Vostochny, TsENKI)
  • OneWeb confirms successful launch and contact with all 36 satellites
  • The latest deployment brings the in-orbit constellation to 146 satellites
  • On track to cover 50 degrees Latitude and above by end of year; three more launches to go

LONDON, 25 March 2021 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, has confirmed the successful launch of all 36 satellites by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. This launch, its second under new ownership, brings its total in-orbit constellation to 146 satellites. These will form part of OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.

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EUMETSAT, Arianespace Confirm Launch of Two Meteosat Third Generation Satellites with Ariane 6

Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64) (Credit: ESA – D. Ducros)
  • Arianespace and EUMETSAT signed an update of their Launch Services Agreement for two Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites.
  • The sounder satellite MTG-S1 and the imager satellite MTG-I2 will be launched with Ariane 6, the next generation of Ariane family of launchers.
  • Arianespace will also place into orbit the MTG-I1 satellite with an Ariane 5 launcher by the end of 2022. The launch orderbook includes two more state-of-the-art meteorological polar satellites as well as one additional launch, still in option.

EVRY-COURCOURONNES, France, March 23, 2021 (Arianespace PR) — Today, at the occasion of the World Meteorological Day, EUMETSAT and Arianespace signed an update of their Launch Services Agreement for two Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites. Through this updated agreement, Arianespace is confirmed by EUMETSAT to launch the sounder satellite MTG-S1 and the imager satellite MTG-I2 with Ariane 6, the next generation of Ariane family of launchers.

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OneWeb Satellites Set to Launch on Thursday

LONDON, March 23, 2021 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) global satellite communications company, is preparing for the launch and deployment of 36 satellites at 02:47 GMT by Arianespace for the second time from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

This will be the second of five launches that will enable OneWeb to deliver connectivity services north of 50 degrees latitude by the end of the 2021. These initial regional services will begin in United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Artic Seas, and Canada with global service becoming available in 2022.

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Soyuz to Launch 36 OneWeb Satellites from Vostochny on Thursday

OneWeb satellites being prepared for launch aboard a Soyuz-2.1b booster from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. (Credit: Roscosmos)

VOSTOCHNY, Russia (Arianespace PR) — The next Arianespace mission is planned from Vostochny Cosmodrome with Soyuz on March 25, to deliver 36 satellites into orbit.

By operating this fifth flight on behalf of OneWeb, Arianespace will bring the total fleet to 146 satellites in Low Earth Orbit. Arianespace is proud to share in the fulfilment of its customer’s ultimate ambition: providing internet access for everyone, everywhere.

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Arianespace Signs Long-term Supply Agreement with Avio for 10 Additional Vega C Launchers

Artist’s impression of Vega-C launcher in flight. (Credit: ESA-Jacky Huart)

ROME (Arianespace PR) — During the recent meeting in Rome between Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery, and Giancarlo Giorgetti, Italian Minister of Economic Development, Arianespace announced the signature of an agreement with Avio to start production of 10 new Vega C launch vehicles.

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Arianespace Closes Out Year with Launch of French Defense Satellite

A Soyuz-2 launches the CSO-2 defense satellite on Dec. 29, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — For its 10th and final launch of the year, Arianespace used a Soyuz rocket to orbit the CSO-2 defense and security observation satellite for the French CNES space agency (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) and DGA defense procurement agency (Direction générale de l’armement), on behalf of the French armed forces.

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Soyuz Launch Delayed by 24 Hours Due to Weather

Soyuz-2.1b launch (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — As weather conditions observed above the Guiana space center were not favorable to a launch today (risk of non-acceptable high altitude winds profile at Lift-off time), Arianespace decided to interrupt the final VS25 launch chronology.

The soonest possible launch date for the VS25 Flight is Tuesday, December 29 at:

> 11:42:07 a.m., in Washington, D.C.
> 01:42:07 p.m., in Kourou, French Guiana,
> 16:42:07, Universal Time (UTC),
> 05:42:07 p.m., in Paris,
> 07:42:07 p.m., in Moscow,
> 01:42:07 a.m., in Tokyo on December 30

The Soyuz launch vehicle and the satellite CSO-2 are in stable and safe conditions.

European Space and Digital Players to Study Development of EU’s Satellite-based Connectivity System

BRUSSELS, 23 December 2020 (Airbus PR) — The European Commission has selected a consortium of European satellite manufacturers, operators and service providers, telco operators and launch service providers to study the design, development and launch of a European-owned space-based communication system.

The study will assess the feasibility of a new initiative aiming to strengthen European digital sovereignty and provide secure connectivity for citizens, commercial enterprises and public institutions as well as providing global coverage for rural and ‘not-spot’ areas. Complementing Copernicus and Galileo, this new EU flagship programme, once given the green light, would fully exploit the synergies of the technological potential akin to the Digital and Space industries. The contract value of the year-long feasibility study amounts to € 7.1 million.

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Soyuz Rocket Deploys 36 OneWeb Satellites on Arianespace’s First Mission from Vostochny Cosmodrome

Soyuz-2 rocket lifts off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome with 36 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)

VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, Russia (Arianespace PR) — OneWeb’s fourth launch overall -the third for 2020- is the first to be conducted with Soyuz by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia.

By successfully placing 36 new OneWeb constellation satellites into orbit, Arianespace resumed the deployment of this client’s satellite network, which now is composed of 110 satellites in low Earth orbit.

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Investigation Concludes Crossed Wires Caused Loss of Vega Booster, Satellites

Vega takes off on its 17th flight on Nov. 16, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace webcast)

PARIS, 17 December 2020 — On Tuesday, November 17, Arianespace announced the loss of the Vega VV17 mission, which was carrying two payloads, SEOSAT-Ingenio, an Earth-science observation satellite for the European Space Agency (ESA), on behalf of Spain’s Center for Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), and TARANIS for France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES).

The first three stages functioned nominally until the ignition of the AVUM upper stage, eight minutes after liftoff. At that time, a degraded trajectory was detected, followed by a loss of control of the vehicle and the subsequent loss of the mission.

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Arianespace to Launch EUTELSAT 10B Satellite

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s Flight VA253 was equipped with a new vehicle equipment bay that enabled the launcher’s payload capacity to be increased. (Credit: Arianespace)

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace and Eutelsat have confirmed that EUTELSAT 10B, Eutelsat’s next generation high-throughput telecommunications satellite, will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket.

EUTELSAT 10B is scheduled for launch in 2022 on one of eight Ariane 5 missions remaining to be performed with the heavy-lift launcher.

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Fourth Flight for OneWeb will be First Arianespace Mission from Vostochny Cosmodrome

OneWeb satellites being prepared for launch aboard a Soyuz-2.1b booster from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. (Credit: Roscosmos)

VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, Russia (Arianespace PR) — OneWeb – the global satellite communications company based in the UK – resumes flights.

This 53rd Soyuz mission conducted by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate will be operated from Vostochny Cosmodrome and represents OneWeb’s fourth launch overall and the third for this year.

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Arianespace to Launch CO3D Constellation on Vega C Booster

Artist’s impression of Vega-C launcher in flight. (Credit: ESA-Jacky Huart)

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace has signed a contract with Airbus to launch four new-generation optical observation satellites of the CO3D (Composante Optique 3D) constellation, to be orbited using the Vega C launcher.

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Arianespace Launches UAE Satellite on Russian Soyuz Rocket

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace has successfully launched FalconEye, a very-high-performance Earth observation satellite for the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces.

With the eighth launch in 2020, Arianespace once again confirms the reliability and flexibility of the Soyuz launcher, which just realized its 24th launch from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.

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Inverted Cables Caused Vega Rocket to Fail

Vega takes off on its 17th flight on Nov. 16, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace webcast)

Engineers say they have identified what caused the loss of a European Vega rocket and its two satellites on Monday evening. The BBC reported:

The problem was traced to the actuators that change the direction of thrust on the Vega’s upper-stage engine.

When they received commands from the guidance, navigation and control (GNC) system, they turned the motor’s nozzle counter to the intended direction.

Roland Lagier, from Arianespace, the company that markets and launches Vega rockets, said cabling on the thrust vector control system must have been inverted when the upper-stage engine was assembled.

“This was of course a production and quality issue. It was a human error and not a design one,” the chief technical officer told reporters.

Lost in the failure were Spain’s SeoSat-Ingenio Earth observation satellite and France’s Taranis research spacecraft, which was to study high-atmosphere lightning.

Vega has compiled a record of 15 successes and two failures since its maiden flight on Feb. 13, 2012. The first failure occurred during the 15th flight on July 11, 2019. An investigation determined the most likely cause was a thermo-structural failure in the forward dome area of the Z23 second stage motor.

Vega made a successful return to flight on Sept. 3, 2020, by launching 53 small satellites on its first rideshare mission.