OneWeb and Hughes Announce Agreement to bring Low Earth Orbit Satellite Broadband Service to India

NEW DELHI/LONDON/GERMANTOWN, Md., 20 January 2022 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the low Earth orbit satellite communications company, and Hughes Network Systems LLC (“Hughes”), an innovator in satellite and multi-transport technologies and networks for 50 years, today announced a strategic six-year Distribution Partner agreement to provide low Earth orbit (LEO) connectivity services across India. The arrangement between OneWeb and Hughes Communications India Private Ltd. (HCIPL), a joint venture between Hughes and Bharti Airtel Limited (“Airtel”),  follows the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the companies in September 2021.

As the leading satellite broadband provider in India , HCIPL is well positioned to deliver services to enterprise and government with OneWeb capacity, especially in areas outside the reach of fibre connectivity. OneWeb will connect towns, villages, and local and regional municipalities in those hardest-to-reach areas, playing a critical role in bridging the digital divide.

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Space Foundation Releases “The Space Report 2021 Q4,” Reflecting on Record-breaking Year in Space

  • Global launch attempts reached a record 145 in 2021, exceeding 143 in 1967
  • Successful launches globally totaled 134, breaking previous record of 128
  • U.S. tallied highest percentage of global commercial launches with 32

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Jan. 18, 2022 (Space Foundation PR) — Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983 for the global space ecosystem, today released “The Space Report 2021 Q4,” which looks back at the historic level of launch activity that took place globally last year and breaks down orbital launch attempts by each spacefaring nation.

Summarizing the latest edition, Space Foundation CEO Tom Zelibor commented, “The space ecosystem has been buzzing with excitement about an emergent space renaissance for several years. This edition unequivocally validates that we have reached a new high point. I always say, ‘There is no better time to be a part of the space economy,’ and with record-breaking growth in 2021 and so many promising new initiatives already underway in 2022, that has never been a truer statement.”

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Loft Orbital Signs Agreement with Airbus to Procure More than Fifteen Arrow Satellite Platforms

Airbus Arrow platform (Credit: Airbus)

Tangible proof of What’s Next in Space: the entire space ecosystem working together to deliver the best space possible

TOULOUSE, France, 14 January 2022 (Airbus PR) – Airbus has been contracted to supply space start-up Loft Orbital with more than fifteen satellite platforms derived from the Airbus Arrow platform.  Arrow is the foundational satellite platform of the OneWeb constellation. There are 394 Airbus Arrow platforms in orbit for the OneWeb constellation and a further 254 are being produced to complete the 648 spacecraft required by OneWeb. With this acquisition, Loft Orbital confirms its intention to make the Airbus Arrow platform a true workhorse enabling its service business model.

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Russia Designed New Space Station, Continued Development of Vostochny in 2021

Russian Orbital Space Station will follow the International Space Station. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — In 2021, a decision was made to start the preliminary design of the Russian space station. The creation of a Russian space station will allow the Russian Federation to maintain its presence in low Earth orbit and ensure the fulfillment of a wide range of tasks. Based on the results of the preliminary design of the station, decisions on its appearance and orbit will be made. It is not excluded that foreign partners will be allowed to participate in the project of the new orbital station.

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Roscosmos Looks Back at Successful Launch Year

Soyuz rocket launches 36 OneWeb satellites from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Dec. 27, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — For the third year in a row, Roscosmos ensured trouble-free launches of spacecraft from the Baikonur, Plesetsk and Vostochny cosmodromes. Russia has achieved the best indicators of accident-free launches in 5 years (about 97 percent) among the leading space powers (Russia, USA, China).

As of the end of 2021, 25 launches of space rockets were carried out, including 14 launches from the Baikonur cosmodrome, 5 launches from Vostochny, 5 from Plesetsk and 1 from the Guiana Space Center.

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Flight ST37, the 15th Operated by Arianespace in 2021, Successfully Placed 36 More OneWeb Satellites into Orbit

Soyuz rocket launches 36 OneWeb satellites from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Dec. 27, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)
  • Thanks to ST37, 60% of OneWeb’s constellation is now in orbit, bringing the constellation to 394 satellites launched.
  • Thanks to ST37, Arianespace have conducted 15 launches in 2021, including eight missions for the benefit of OneWeb and a total of nine Soyuz flights, from three different spaceports.
  • This launch also marks a new milestone in Arianespace history: since its creation in 1980, the company has officially deployed 1,101 satellites.

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, December 27, 2021 (Arianespace PR) — On Monday, December 27, at precisely 06:10 p.m. local time at Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome (01:10 p.m. UTC), Soyuz flight ST37 lifted-off with 36 OneWeb satellites bringing, after this successful deployment, the size of the fleet in orbit to 394. Flight ST37 was the 63rd Soyuz mission carried out by Arianespace, the 37th with its Starsem affiliate, and the 12th mission for OneWeb.

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Kymeta and OneWeb Partner to Develop Flat Panel User Terminal for LEO Network to Support Land Fixed Solutions

The Joint Development Agreement between OneWeb and Kymeta aims to bring to market a u8 based LEO terminal that supports COTP and COTM

REDMOND, Wash. & LONDON (Kymeta/OneWeb PR) — Kymeta, the communications company making mobile global, and OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, announced today a joint development agreement (JDA) to develop an innovative flat panel electronically steered user terminal that is compatible with the OneWeb network to support land fixed applications and leading the way to various mobility applications like land mobile, maritime, and other mobility needs of the future.

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OneWeb and GDC Advanced Technology Sign Development Agreement for Compact Terminal to Revolutionize In-Flight Connectivity

LONG BEACH, Calif., 30 November, 2021 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the global communications company powered by space, has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with GDC Advanced Technology. The agreement with the world-class aircraft modification and technology company sees the two industry leaders collaborate on the development of a new In-Flight Connectivity terminal that will enable airlines to connect their aircraft, passengers, and crew over OneWeb’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication network. 

The relationship builds upon 18-months of research completed in partnership with satellite operators and one of the industry’s leading airlines. The new terminal based on the electronically steered antenna technology developed by Ball Aerospace, has already undergone early lab and ground testing at the GDC facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, and will deliver the much-anticipated benefits of OneWeb’s LEO constellation including high throughput and low latency to airlines and their passengers from 2023. 

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Planned Comsat Constellations Now Exceed 94,000 Satellites

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A wave of new applications submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week for approval for communications satellites operating in the V band has sent the number of spacecraft in large constellations soaring to nearly 100,000.

A list compiled by Parabolic Arc shows that 94,255 satellites are included in the constellations. That number includes 29,439 satellites approved by the FCC or in development in China. The FCC has applicants pending before it for another 64,816 satellites.

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Intelsat and OneWeb Demo Global Multi-Orbit Satellite Service to U.S. Department of Defense

McLean, Va. (Intelsat PR) – Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network, OneWeb (OWT), a global provider of innovative, secure satellite communications, and Linchpin Solutions, a leader in C5ISR systems and programs, successfully demonstrated a multi-orbit satellite communications solution for representatives of the U.S. Army and Department of Defense (DoD).

This is a strategic demonstration to the U.S. DoD that shows transport diversification between the geostationary orbit (GEO) and low Earth orbit (LEO) constellations with seamless switching between them.

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OneWeb and Leonardo DRS Announce Partnership to Offer Low Earth Orbit Service for the U.S. Department of Defense

LONDON (OneWeb PR) – OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, and Leonardo DRS, a leading innovator in communications, defense, and security, announced today a new partnership to jointly offer LEO service for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Supported by a global network of gateways and user terminals, OneWeb’s global connectivity platform will provide high-bandwidth and low-latency connectivity to expand Leonardo DRS’ state-of-the-art information and technology solution systems, products and technologies to support military and government markets. The partnership will enable expanded connectivity to offer versatile, agile, and capable U.S. government mission support throughout the United States and overseas.

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Astra Space Applies to Launch More than 13,000 Satellites; Proposed Broadband Constellations Exceed 79,000 Spacecraft

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Astra Space has applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the launch more than 13,000 communications satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), joining SpaceX, OneWeb, Amazon and other companies seeking to provide broadband services across the globe. The application brings the number of proposed satellites in these constellations to more than 79,000.

“The Astra Constellation as proposed would ultimately consist of as many as 13,620 operational LEO satellites, supported by a global network of gateway earth stations utilizing the identified V-band frequency bands for feeder links for space-to-earth transmit and receive,” the company’s application said.

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BT Secures Industry First Global Partnership with OneWeb

  • BT signs landmark agreement for OneWeb low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network and connectivity services 
  • Tests to integrate LEO satellite services across consumer and business divisions to create added value for customer, with first trials expected in early 2022 
  • The agreement between the two British-headquartered companies will support UK Government’s National Space Strategy and spans BT’s global footprint 
  • Satellite services form a component of BT’s vision to enable digital solutions anywhere in the UK by 2028

LONDON, 2 November 2021 (OneWeb PR) — BT and OneWeb have agreed terms for a new Distribution Partner Agreement, with OneWeb to provide low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication services across BT Group.* This builds on an initial Memorandum of Understanding signed in July and means BT is testing how LEO satellite technology integrates with its existing terrestrial capabilities to meet the communications needs of customers. On successful completion, BT will commence the first live trials with customers from early next year. The partnership will span a growing range of connectivity solutions around the world as well as specific opportunities for the U.K. market.

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NEOM Tech & Digital Holding Company and OneWeb Sign $200 Million Joint Venture for Satellite Network

  • OneWeb Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to service NEOM, the Kingdom and MEA, transforming connectivity to businesses and rural communities
  • High-speed connectivity will be a vital enabler of groundbreaking ecosystem of cognitive technologies

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, 26 October 2021 (OneWeb PR) — NEOM Tech & Digital Holding Company – the first holding company to be established as a subsidiary of NEOM – and OneWeb, the global communications network powered from space, have signed a $200 million (SAR 750m) joint venture agreement to bring high-speed satellite connectivity to NEOM, Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East and neighboring East African countries.

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Report Calls for Immediate Actions to Address Impact of Satellite Constellations on Astronomy, Environment

A wide-field image (2.2 degrees across) from the Dark Energy Camera on the Víctor M. Blanco 4-m telescope at the Cerro Tololo InterAmerican Observatory, taken on 18 November 2019. Several Starlink satellites crossed the field of view. (Credit: CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/DECam DELVE Survey)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A new report recommends “immediate, well-funded, comprehensive, and collaborative work” to implement a series of measures to mitigate the negative impacts that large satellite constellations on ground-based astronomy.

The report, whose executive summary was published last week, includes 10 recommendations for observatories and constellation operators that include the development of software to identify and mask satellite trails and designs changes to lessen the reflectivity of satellites. (The full list of recommendations are below.)

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