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20 Dec 2022
In One Go, SpaceX Launched 40 Satellites for OneWeb
On Wednesday, (December 8), at 5:27 pm Eastern time, SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, successfully delivering 40 satellites into orbit for OneWeb, a global communications company.
The launch marked the first of six missions planned for OneWeb’s constellation of satellites and is an essential milestone for the company’s vision of providing everyone with high-speed, low-latency internet access.
The satellites, packed inside the rocket's nosecone, will join the dozens of others already in orbit, creating a mega constellation of more than 600 satellites that will provide global coverage for mobile and fixed communications services.
The launch was also significant for SpaceX, marking the first time the company had successfully reused a Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX is now one step closer to achieving its goal of launching thousands of satellites into space to provide global coverage. With today’s successful mission, the tech company has made significant progress toward connecting the world.
This was the first launch SpaceX has carried out on behalf of a rival broadband competitor, Starlink. In addition, it is the first of three launches that it has planned with OneWeb.
Earlier this year, OneWeb—an LEO satellite company—signed a contract to work with SpaceX after the original launch schedule had been thrown into turmoil in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
As a result of the launch of the satellites, OneWeb now has a constellation of 502 satellites, representing almost 80 percent of its total first-generation constellation.
Stephen Beynon, OneWeb's Chief Commercial Officer, has said that it will take about 100 days for their latest batch of satellites to reach their final destinations.
As a result of additional pre-launch checks, the launch was slightly delayed from the original December 6 launch date. This is OneWeb's 15th mission overall.
In light of Russia's refusal to comply with OneWeb, the company is preceding the launch of 36 satellites that were previously scheduled to happen at a facility owned by the Russians in Kazakhstan.
On the other hand, SpaceX has sent a staggering number of 55 missions this year alone and has already sent 3,500 of its Starlink satellites.
Recently, the Federal Communications Commission has granted partial approval for SpaceX's second generation of Starlink satellites. They can construct, deploy, and operate up to 7,500 satellites.
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