OneWeb to use SpaceX rockets to launch satellites after Russian ban

Russia's banning of OneWeb satellite launches from its Soyuz rocket has led the company to join forces with its competitor SpaceX.

Published Wed, Mar 23 2022 5:25 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 19 2022 5:44 PM CDT

OneWeb is partnering with SpaceX to launch its satellites after being banned from using Russian rockets following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

OneWeb to use SpaceX rockets to launch satellites after Russian ban 01 |

Despite being competitors in the satellite broadband market, OneWeb, which the U.K. government partly owns, and SpaceX are teaming up to launch OneWeb's satellites on SpaceX rockets. OneWeb's low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation currently includes 428 satellites, with a planned total of 648 satellites. By comparison, SpaceX plans to launch 42,000 satellites into orbit for Starlink.

OneWeb previously intended to launch a batch of 36 satellites to space aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. However, this plan was derailed when Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, demanded that the British government divest its $500 million stake from OneWeb and for OneWeb to provide a guarantee that its satellites would not be used for military purposes. These requests were denied, and the launch was scrapped.

"We thank SpaceX for their support, which reflects our shared vision for the boundless potential of space. With these launch plans in place, we're on track to finish building out our full fleet of satellites and deliver robust, fast, secure connectivity around the globe," said OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson in a statement.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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