WASHINGTON — OneWeb has delayed the beginning of its regular launch campaign by a month to allow more testing of its small broadband satellites.
“We are taking the utmost care to prepare for launch and therefore are taking a few extra weeks to conduct additional tests on the satellites which will be shipped in December for launch,” OneWeb said in a statement to SpaceNews. “We are targeting our next launch for mid-to-late January and remain on track for monthly launches thereafter and to begin service in the Arctic in late 2020 and global coverage in 2021.”
OneWeb spokeswomanKatie Dowd said by email that the company will be launching at least 30 satellites with each Soyuz mission. She declined to specify exactly how many will launch on the January mission.
OneWeb launched its first six satellites in February on a Soyuz rocket through European launch provider Arianespace. That launch was delayed for more than six months, largely to allow for additional satellite testing.
Arianespace, OneWeb’s primary launch provider, conducted the February launch from Kourou, French Guiana, but most of the remaining 20 OneWeb Soyuz launches are planned from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to avoid scheduling conflicts with ...