Expanding the OneWeb constellation: Arianespace and Starsem to launch 36 more satellites on Soyuz

OneWeb satellites for Arianespace/Starsem Flight ST30 are unloaded from the An-124-100 cargo jetliner at Ignatievo Airport for their transfer to Vostochny Spaceport. Photo: Glavkosmos

February 26, 2021

Preparations are underway for Arianespace’s next mission: to orbit another 36 OneWeb internet connectivity satellites. The launch, set for March 25, will utilize the medium-lift Soyuz launcher from Vostochny Spaceport in Russia.

These spacecraft – built by the OneWeb Satellites joint venture of OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space – were delivered at Ignatievo Airport by a cargo jetliner on February 19.

Arianespace’s fifth launch for OneWeb

The upcoming mission, designated Flight ST30 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, will be performed with its Starsem affiliate utilizing a Soyuz-2.1b version of the workhorse launch vehicle produced by Russia’s Samara Space Center.

To date, Arianespace has orbited 110 OneWeb satellites on four missions, with all deployed by Soyuz launchers.

The initial OneWeb spacecraft were orbited from the Guiana Space Center (French Guiana) during February 2019, followed in February and March 2020 with liftoffs from Baikonur Cosmodrome (Kazakhstan), and the December 2020 launch from Vostochny Spaceport (Russia).

OneWeb’s goal is to bring connectivity to everywhere where fiber cannot reach, delivering high-speed, low-latency connectivity services to a wide range of customer sectors – including aviation, maritime, backhaul services, and for governments, emergency response services and more.