OneWeb put out a press release on Wednesday detailing plans to reduce the size of its proposed satellite constellation substantially. Initially planned to include nearly 48,000 satellites, the updated plan now calls for only about 6,400 in an attempt to reduce the overall cost of the project.
The reduced size of the constellation “demonstrates the commitment and vision of OneWeb’s new owners,” the company stated in the press release. Those new owners include the UK government and telecom company Bharti Global.
Despite the proposed constellation size being smaller than originally intended, the service provided by it will remain just as ambitious. “OneWeb expects this revised deployment plan for its Phase 2 constellation will enable it to achieve superior end user throughput and spectral efficiency while reducing funding requirements,” the company said.
While this move may be concerning at first glance, the decision will surely put the rest of the space community at ease. The original plan for a constellation of 48,000 satellites had the potential to become a space debris nightmare, an issue that is already growing exponentially.