OneWeb Plans to Start Monthly Launches in December

SpaceDaily has the details:

Internet firm OneWeb plans to begin launching 35 to 40 communications satellites a month in December, and has 27 Soyuz rocket missions lined up through European launch company Arianespace to send them aloft, company officials said in Florida on Monday.

“Those are the best rockets we could find for the quality, price and capability we were looking for,” OneWeb founder and executive chairman Greg Wyler said. “We will not be launching from Florida for now.”

Company officials emphasized that OneWeb is a commercial firm looking to make a profit, but also has a mission to provide high-speed Internet access to parts of the globe where access is difficult. It plans to work with schools in developing nations to help them afford Internet connectivity.

OneWeb announced in 2017 that it had purchased five launches from Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin. That firm is building its planned New Glenn rocket near OneWeb’s satellite plant next to Kennedy Space Center. But that’s off the table for the immediate future, Wyler said. The New Glenn still is being developed.

“At some point, we will launch with Blue Origin,” Wyler said. “They are building a large rocket safely.”

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