Arianespace to Serve OneWeb’s Ambitions, will Orbit 34 Additional Satellites with Soyuz

Soyuz-2 launches 34 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)
  • After the successful launch of NASA’s Webb Space Telescope on December 25 with Ariane 5, Arianespace is back to the Guiana Space Center (CSG) with Soyuz for a February 10 lift-off.
  • The first Arianespace mission of the year will orbit 34 additional OneWeb satellites.
  • With this mission, Arianespace will exceed 100 satellites launched on Soyuz from the CSG, while OneWeb’s fleet will be brought to 428 satellites on Low Earth Orbit.

SINNAMARY, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Scheduled for February 10 at 03:09 p.m. local time (06:09 p.m. UTC), Arianespace’s Soyuz Flight VS27 will mark the European launch service provider’s first flight of the year. Performed from the Soyuz Launch Complex (ELS) at Sinnamary, French Guiana, Flight VS27 will put 34 of OneWeb’s satellites into a near-polar orbit at an altitude of 450 kilometers. The total duration of the mission will be 3 hours and 33 minutes and will include nine satellite separations, after which the satellites will subsequently raise themselves to their operational orbit.

This thirteenth launch for OneWeb will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity services to a wide range of customer sectors including aviation, maritime, backhaul services, as well as governments, emergency response services and more. Central to its purpose, OneWeb seeks to bring connectivity to every place where fiber cannot reach, and thereby bridge the digital divide.

Once deployed, the OneWeb constellation will work with user terminals that are capable of offering 3G, LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi coverage, providing high-speed access globally – by air, sea and land.

The next OneWeb missions through 2022 will enable the start of OneWeb’s global services this year.

OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space, is the constellation’s prime contractor. The satellites were built thanks to its leading-edge satellite manufacturing process that can build up to two satellites a day on a series production line dedicated to the assembly, integration, and testing of the satellites.

Arianespace offers proven launch solutions, fully adapted to the requirements of constellations and validated by the market. The 34 OneWeb satellites on Flight VS27 will be the 561st to 594th constellation satellites launched by Arianespace and will put at over 100 the number of satellites launched on Soyuz from the CSG.

About Arianespace

Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited over 1,100 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and from the Russian cosmodromes in Baikonur and Vostochny. Starting in 2022, Arianespace will operate the new-generation Ariane 6 and Vega C launchers, developed by ESA. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry. ESA and CNES are advisory board members. www.arianespace.com