Arianespace and Starsem are ready to launch 34 more internet communication satellites of the OneWeb constellation to a low Earth orbit (LEO). The launch is scheduled for 18:07:19 UTC (14:07:19 EDT) on Tuesday, September 14 from Site 31/6 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Soyuz 2.1b/Fregat rocket.
OneWeb satellites 289 to 322 will be deployed into an initial 450 km orbit with an inclination of 84.7 degrees and will bring the total number of OneWebs in orbit to nearly 50% of the initial 648 satellite constellation.
The 34 OneWeb satellites on today’s mission carry a total launch mass of 5,510 kg.
The OneWeb satellite constellation is one of the three planned internet satellite platforms along with Project Kuiper (produced by Kuiper Systems, an Amazon subsidiary) and SpaceX’s Starlink. The initial plan for OneWeb is to have 600 satellites in orbit for global coverage and 48 spares in case of failures.
A 600 satellite initial constellation could provide up to 50 MB/s of internet speed to nearly anywhere on the globe.
The final operational orbit for the OneWeb constellation, after the satellites raise their orbits after launch, is 1,200 km spread across 18 orbital planes ...