On March 9th local time, SpaceX successfully launched 40 communication satellites (hereinafter “OneWeb satellites”) from the United States communication company “OneWeb”. OneWeb is proceeding with the construction of a communications satellite constellation, and the “first generation network” is expected to be completed with one launch remaining.
On March 9, 2023, at 2:13 pm ET, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the OneWeb satellite from Launch Facility 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, USA. The first stage aircraft used for the launch has returned safely to the landing site at the same base this time. This is the 13th launch and landing of this aircraft, and so far, including the launch of “GPS III Space Vehicle 04” on November 5, 2020, manned space flight “Inspiration 4” (2021) and “Ax-1 (2022) , used in seven “Starlink” missions, among others.
The 40 OneWeb satellites were separated from the rocket in three separate 40-minute periods. Final separation occurred approximately 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 in orbit to 582.
The launch was OneWeb’s 17th satellite launch. OneWeb’s first generation network is one more launch away, and is expected to enable communication in all parts of the world by the end of 2023. The rest of the launch is scheduled for the end of March 2023 by NSIL, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Organisation. (ISRO).
OneWeb satellites have been launched on Arianespace’s Soyuz rockets until early 2022. However, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Soyuz did not become available, and the OneWeb satellite launch was temporarily suspended. Since then, OneWeb has used India’s GSLV Mk III rocket and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket for its own launches and has continued to put satellites into orbit.
- SpaceX – LAUNCH ONEWEB 17 MISSION
- OneWeb – OneWeb confirms that 40 satellites have been successfully launched with SpaceX
- Space News – SpaceX completes final dedicated launch for OneWeb
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