On March 9 local time, SpaceX successfully launched 40 communications satellites (hereinafter referred to as “OneWeb satellites”) of the US communications company “OneWeb”. OneWeb is proceeding to build a constellation of communications satellites, and the “first generation network” is expected to be completed with one remaining launch.
On March 9, 2023, at 2:13 PM ET, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the OneWeb satellite from Launch Facility 40 at Space Force Station Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. The first stage aircraft used for the launch returned safely to the landing site at the same base this time. This is the thirteenth launch and landing of this aircraft, and to date, including the launch of the “GPS III 04 spacecraft” on November 5, 2020, the manned space flight “Inspiration 4” (2021) and “Ax-1 (2022), used in seven “Starlink” missions, among others.
Forty OneWeb satellites separated from the rocket in three separate 40-minute periods. Final separation took place about 1 hour and 35 minutes after launch, after which signals from all 40 satellites were successfully received. The successful launch brings the total number of OneWeb satellites currently in orbit to 582.
The launch was OneWeb’s 17th satellite launch. OneWeb’s first-generation network is just one more launch, and is expected to enable communications in all regions of the world by the end of 2023. The remaining launch is scheduled for late March 2023 by NSIL, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Organization (ISRO).
OneWeb satellites were launched on Arianespace’s Soyuz rockets until early 2022. However, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Soyuz became unavailable, and OneWeb satellite launches were temporarily suspended. Since then, OneWeb has used India’s GSLV Mk III rocket and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket for launch and continues to put satellites into orbit.
- SpaceX – ONEWEB launch 17 missions
- OneWeb OneWeb confirms the successful deployment of 40 satellites launched with SpaceX
- Space news SpaceX completes final custom launch of OneWeb
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