OneWeb has suffered from bankruptcy nine months ago, and now the company is back and has deployed its broadband network with the launch of OneWeb's 36 satellites on a Soyuz rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia.

OneWeb's new satellites

OneWeb is now under new ownership. It will now have 110 satellites in orbit after the launch on December 17, enough to make the company owner of the third-largest fleet of commercial spacecraft in orbit.

The network is created to increase high-speed internet signals around the world. OneWeb is currently competing with Starlink network from SpaceX, which is now in advanced beta testing with more than 900 satellites to be able to deliver internet service to numerous communities, commercial establishments, aircraft and military ships, as well as other remote customers.

Also Read: SpaceX Sends More Starlink Satellites Into Orbit

Other tech companies such as Telesat and Amazon are now creating their own broadband satellite fleets, but neither has launched operational spacecraft for their internet networks that are space-based. The closest one to enter commercial service is SpaceX, followed by OneWeb, according to CNET.

OneWeb's 36 new satellites will be boarded onto a Russian Soyuz-2.1b rocket and Fregat upper stage. They are built by a subsidiary company named OneWeb Satellites near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to TechCrunch.

The liftoff from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur Oblast in Russia is scheduled for 7:26:26 a.m. EST (1226:26 GMT), December 18.

OneWeb has bought a series of Soyuz launches from Arianespace, which also oversees Soyuz flights from the Guiana Space Center in South American.

Through Starsem, the subsidiary of OneWeb, Arianespace also manages commercial Soyuz launch services from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Satellite in orbit

The first six satellites from OneWeb was launched from the Guiana Space Center in February 2019, they were ferried by a Soyuz rocket, according to SpaceNews.

Another 68 OneWeb satellites were launched on two Soyuz flights from Baikonur in February and March of 2020, before the company suspended its launch campaign because it filed for bankruptcy.

The launch on December 18 will be Arianespace's first commercial Soyuz mission from Russia's newest launch site. It will then be the sixth Soyuz flight from Russia since it began in 2016.

The Soyuz rocket's four first stage boosters will jettison two minutes after liftoff, followed by separation of the payload fairing at T+plus 3 minutes and 35 seconds.

The core state of the Soyuz rocket will fall away at T+plus 4 minutes and 48 seconds. This will then give way to the third state wherein the RD-0124 engine will burn for more than four minutes.

The third stage will release the Fregat upper stage at T+plus 9 minutes and 22 seconds. It will be followed by lighting of the Fregat main engine a minute later to place the satellites into a preliminary parking orbit.

The first batch of satellites will deploy off the payload mounting structure that is made by RUAG Space in Sweden. The remainder of the OneWeb payloads will separate in a sequence four at a time at staggered times over the next two hours, with the final deployment scheduled at 11:18 a.m. EST.

Related Article: The U.K. Invests $500 Million on Starlink's Rival, OneWeb

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Written by Sieeka Khan

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