It’s back to business for OneWeb, the satellite internet service that declared bankruptcy earlier this year. With 74 satellites already in orbit, OneWeb is ready to send its next batch up.
The Chapter 11 filing came as the company failed to raise the amount of investment funding needed to continue building out its satellite constellation. OneWeb managed to raise $3.2 billion, but still fell $2 billion short. A consortium of investors that includes the UK government recently came together and provided the infusion of cash needed to keep OneWeb flying.
Another 36 satellites were just enclosed in the payload fairing that will sit atop a Soyuz 2-1b. This modernized Soyuz features an upgraded third stage that is the result of a joint Russian/European development program.
This launch will also utilize the Fregat upper stage. It will be necessary since the mission will require multiple orbit maneuvers to deliver all of the satellites to their assigned polar orbits. The Fregat will also perform one extra ignition to deorbit itself once the mission is complete.
Liftoff is scheduled for Friday, December 18th at 7:26:26 a.m. EST. To reach polar orbit, this mission will be launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in far east Russia.
- OneWeb emerges from the ashes of bankruptcy with new CEO
- OneWeb finds life after bankruptcy as satellite internet competition mounts from Starlink
- Microsoft cloud computing reaches orbit with Azure Space using help from SpaceX Starlink
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