Roscosmos OneWeb Launch 7 mission goes off without a hitch

Roscosmos and Arianespace have announced they have successfully launched the OneWeb Launch 7 mission after a delay of one day. The delay in the launch was to replace the electrical part of the Soyuz rocket that was to push the satellites in orbit. The mission lifted off on May 28 at 1:38 PM EDT.The rocket launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia and marked the seventh launch for the growing megaconstellation of OneWeb satellites. Like SpaceX Starlink satellites, the OneWeb satellites provide broadband Internet access to users on the ground. This launch marks 218 broadband satellites in orbit for the constellation.

The launch marks the 57th Soyuz mission for Arianespace and its affiliate called Starsem. The mission's official designation was Flight ST32, and its successful launch brought the constellation to more than 200 satellites in orbit. OneWeb has essentially the same mission as SpaceX to bring Internet access to everyone, everywhere, all the time. The specific mission put 36 additional satellites in orbit, bringing the overall fleet to 218 orbiting in a near-polar orbit 450 kilometers above the ground.

OneWeb put its first six satellites into orbit on February 27, 2019. The company launched 34 additional satellites on February 7, 2020. Its next 34 satellites were put into orbit on March 21, 2020, and 36 additional satellites were placed in orbit on December 18, 2020. Other successful launches include 36 satellites being placed into space on March 25, 2021, and 36 additional satellites on April 26, 2021.

Once the company gets its constellation deployed and enabled, the satellites will offer 3G, LTE, 5G, and Wi-Fi coverage globally to provide Internet access to people by air, sea, and land. This year, the company plans to expand its constellation to cover the UK, Alaska, Canada, northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, and the Arctic seas.