OneWeb to Launch Satellites With Rival SpaceX After Suspending Ties With Russian Agency

The OneWeb launch scrub came amid heightened tensions between Russia and NATO governments.

OneWeb to Launch Satellites With Rival SpaceX After Suspending Ties With Russian Agency

Photo Credit: Reuters

The British satellite firm expects its first launch with SpaceX later this year

Highlights
  • OneWeb has reached a deal with California-based competitor SpaceX
  • Russia demanded OneWeb's technology not be used for military purposes
  • OneWeb's first satellite launch with SpaceX will happen later this year

Weeks after Moscow forced the 11th-hour cancellation of a rocket launch for British satellite venture OneWeb from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the company said on Monday it has contracted with Elon Musk's SpaceX to send its satellites into orbit. Terms of the deal with California-based SpaceX, a direct competitor of OneWeb in the burgeoning broadband satellite industry, were not disclosed.

Earlier this month, OneWeb called off the scheduled March 4 launch of 36 satellites from Baikonur and suspended ties with Russia's space agency Roscosmos because of last-minute demands imposed on the company by Moscow, including a guarantee that OneWeb's technology would not be used for military purposes.

The OneWeb launch scrub came amid heightened tensions between Russia and NATO governments, including Britain, over economic sanctions imposed against Moscow by the West in response to Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

The British government, which holds a stake in OneWeb, also said it was reviewing its participation in further projects with Russia in light of the Ukraine crisis.

The British satellite firm expects its first launch with SpaceX later this year to add to its constellation of 428 satellites already in low-Earth orbit.

"With these launch plans in place, we're on track to finish building out our full fleet of satellites," OneWeb Chief Executive Officer Neil Masterson said.

OneWeb, which plans to offer universal broadband through a network that will ultimately consist of 650 satellites, was rescued from bankruptcy by the British government and Indian telecoms giant Bharti Global in 2020. Eutelsat Communications and SoftBank Group are among other investors in the firm.

SpaceX's Starlink, one of several ventures in the fast-growing satellite broadband business, including Amazon subsidiary Project Kuiper, has put some 1,500 satellites in operation, providing internet access to regions underserved or hard to reach for other services.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


Asus India's Arnold Su joins this week's Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, to talk about how the PC maker is planning to grow its presence in the country. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Further reading: OneWeb
Waymo Says Ready to Launch Driverless Vehicle Services in San Francisco
Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment
 
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2022. All rights reserved.