SpaceX

SpaceX Internet Competitor OneWeb Launches 36 Satellites To Build Broadband Network

Science

After being bought out of bankruptcy earlier this year, OneWeb has completed its first successful launch by sending 36 satellites into orbit. The UK based company is working towards building a constellation of satellites that will help it provide a better broadband network. The satellites will beam internet services to users on Earth. In this series, the company has launched 36 satellites on board a Russian Soyuz rocket. The rockets sent into orbit were purchased from the European aerospace firm Arianespace. These satellites will join the bunch of the company’s 74 satellites already present in the orbit. These satellites were launched in March earlier this year. Soon after the launch of those satellites, OneWeb had declared itself bankrupt. It declared bankruptcy after failing to secure more funds from investors who tightened their belts soon after the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early March.

All operations of OneWeb were stopped during most of 2020 as the company underwent Chapter 11 restructuring. India based Bharti Global and the British government put USD 1 billion into the UK based company during bankruptcy proceedings and became primary stakeholders. OneWeb’s aim of building a constellation of satellites to provide internet facilities is no easy feat. Some of its competitors include Elon Musk-owned SpaceX. Several other companies attempted to do this in the early 1990s but failed miserably. This is because the plan to set up such a massive number of satellites is much more expensive than they thought it to be.

A group of companies has once again started this and the SpaceX is leading the group. Elon Musk’s company has already launched over 1000 such satellites. The company is in the initial phase of Beta testing and it is expected to launch commercial services next year. The company says that it will require only 650 satellites to start the commercial services and plans to debut by the end of next year. SpaceX said that its prime focus to provide services to businesses rather than directly targeting consumers.

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