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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With Flight ST36, Arianespace Sets a New Mark; More than Half of OneWeb Constellation Now Successfully Deployed

Soyuz rocket lifts off with 36 Starlink satellites on Oct. 14, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

– Arianespace has successfully performed Soyuz Flight ST36. This latest launch for OneWeb’s placed 36 more satellites into orbit.
– ST36 represents an important step in OneWeb and Arianespace’s partnership: the operator now has more than half, 358 satellites, of its constellation on orbit.
– ST36 is the 10th launch of Arianespace in 2021.

VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, Russia (Arianespace PR) — Performed on Thursday, October 14 at precisely 6:40 pm. local time at Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome (9:40 a.m. UTC), Soyuz Flight ST36 lifted-off with 36 OneWeb satellites onboard, bringing the size of the fleet in orbit to 358, after this successful deployment. Flight ST36 was the 61st Soyuz mission carried out by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate. The mission lasted three hours and 51 minutes. The 36 satellites were deployed during nine separation sequences, at an altitude of 450 km.

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NSIL/ISRO and OneWeb to Collaborate for Taking Digital Connectivity to Every Corner of the World

GSLV Mk III booster lifts off. (Credit: ISRO)
  • ISRO’s PSLV and GSLV-MkIII to become a part of launch programme for OneWeb’s LEO satellites that will beam high speed broadband on earth

LONDON and NEW DELHI, India, 11 October 2021 (OneWeb PR) — Bharti-backed OneWeb, the low Earth orbit satellite communications company, today announced an  arrangement through Letter of Intent with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to use the Indian-built PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and the heavier GSLV-MkIII (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) as potential platforms to launch OneWeb’s satellites in India from 2022.

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Eutelsat Raises its Shareholding Stake in OneWeb

PARIS, 6 October 2021 (Eutelsat PR) – Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) has exercised a call option on a portion of the latest OneWeb funding round subscribed by Bharti, for a consideration of $165 million, taking its shareholding from 17.6% to 22.9%.

The transaction was undertaken on identical financial terms to Eutelsat’s initial investment of $550 million announced in April and completed on 8 September. The completion of this latest transaction is expected around year-end 2021 subject to regulatory authorisations.

Since Eutelsat’s initial investment, OneWeb has gained significant traction, both operationally, with a 100% launch success rate leading to nearly half of the constellation now in orbit, and commercially, with numerous distribution partnerships secured ahead of its partial entry into service, which remains on track for end-2021.

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OneWeb Strengthens Ground Segment with QuadSAT

Credit: QuadSat

ODENSE, Denmark (QuadSAT PR) – OneWeb, the low Earth orbit satellite communications company is working with QuadSAT to perform verification of its ground segment antennas ahead of the global rollout of its LEO constellation. In an initial stage, QuadSAT has carried out an antenna validation campaign at the Telespazio teleport in Scanzano, Italy.

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OneWeb Welcomes Galaxy Broadband as Distribution Partner to Improve Connectivity Across Canada and Arctic Region

LONDON (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the low Earth orbit satellite communications company, announced today a new Canadian distribution partner, Galaxy Broadband, to deliver OneWeb’s high-speed, low-latency communications services across Canada and the wider Arctic region.

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 Galaxy’s existing SDWAN connectivity capabilities in and across Canada. The partnership will enable a fibre-like experience to benefit end users, offering internet access no matter where users are.

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OneWeb Completes TrustComm Transaction, Creating OneWeb Technologies

  • OneWeb Technologies will continue TrustComm mission of providing managed satellite services to commercial and government entities
  • New unit will be led by former TrustComm CEO Bob Roe

London, U.K. – 21 September 2021: OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, announced today that it has completed its acquisition of Texas-based TrustComm Inc., a provider of managed satellite communications and professional services to commercial and governments organizations. OneWeb announced the planned acquisition of TrustComm in May 2021 and received all necessary regulatory approvals enabling the transaction to close.

Following consummation of this transaction, TrustComm will become known as OneWeb Technologies Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of OneWeb.

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With the 10th OneWeb Launch RUAG Space Placed More Than 1000 Satellites

Soyuz-2 launches 34 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)

BERN, Switzerland (RUAG Space PR) — On Tuesday, September 14, another 34 OneWeb internet satellites have been separated from the Soyuz launch vehicle and placed in orbit with a dispenser from RUAG Space. With this, the Swiss-based space supplier has successfully placed 1,031 satellites in orbit, exceeding the landmark of 1,000 satellite separations.

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With Flight ST35 for OneWeb, Arianespace Sets New Mark by Putting More than 1,000 satellites in Orbit

Soyuz-2 launches 34 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)
  • Soyuz Flight ST35 placed 34 more satellites into orbit. Following this 10th launch for OneWeb, Arianespace has deployed 322 satellites for the global connectivity constellation.
  • Ninth successful launches and sixth Soyuz operated by Arianespace and Starsem since the start of the year.
  • With this launch, Arianespace will have deployed 1,021 satellite since its incorporation in 1980.

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (Arianespace PR) — Performed on Tuesday, September 14, at precisely 11:07 p.m. local time at Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome (06:07 p.m. UTC), Soyuz Flight ST35 lifted-off with 34 OneWeb satellites onboard, bringing, after the successful deployment, the size of the fleet in orbit to 322. Flight ST35 was the 60th Soyuz mission carried out by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate, and the tenth mission to the benefit of OneWeb.

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