OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications operator part-owned by the UK government, has sealed an agreement with New Space India, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, to help ensure OneWeb completes its satellite launch programme. The first launch with New Space India is anticipated in 2022 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), adding to OneWeb’s current total in-orbit constellation of 428 satellites (66% of its planned total fleet) to build a global network that will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, OneWeb Executive Chairman, said: ‘This most recent agreement on launch plans adds considerable momentum to the development of OneWeb’s network, as we work together across the space industry toward our common goal of connecting communities globally.’ The launch contract follows a separate agreement between OneWeb and SpaceX to enable the company to resume satellite launches, announced in March. Detailed terms of the agreement with New Space India are confidential.
OneWeb had cancelled an existing agreement with Russian space agency RosCosMos following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and stopped launching satellites from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur spaceport, leased to Russia.
OneWeb has so far activated its network for remote parts of the globe above 50 degrees north, with early partners already initiating services.