Soyuz is cleared for Arianespace’s February 27 mission carrying OneWeb satellites
Arianespace’s Soyuz mission that will orbit global satellite operator OneWeb’s first six spacecraft has been authorized for launch tomorrow from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
The six OneWeb satellites for launch on Arianespace’s Flight VS21 are contained in the “upper composite” – shown here after integration atop the launcher in French Guiana.
Approval for liftoff was given at the conclusion of today’s launch readiness review, which verified the “go” status of Soyuz, its payload, the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the network of downrange tracking stations.
The February 27 mission – designated Flight VS21 in Arianespace’s numbering system – will be performed from the Spaceport’s purpose-built ELS launch facility for Soyuz.
Liftoff is scheduled at precisely 6:37 p.m. local time in French Guiana, with the six OneWeb satellites to be deployed during a flight sequence lasting 1 hour and 22 minutes.
Communications across the world
OneWeb is building the world’s largest and highest throughput satellite system to connect everyone, everywhere – by land, air, sea with a vision to bridge the digital divide once and for all.
Once placed in a near-polar orbit by Soyuz, the first six spacecraft – produced by the OneWeb Satellites joint venture of OneWeb and Airbus – will operate at an altitude of 1,200 km., giving customers extremely low latency and providing communications access to the entire world with fiber-quality internet connectivity.
OneWeb’s constellation will support a wide range of markets, including aeronautics, maritime, backhaul services, community Wi-Fi, emergency response services and more. The operator also is focused on connecting unconnected schools and working to bridge the digital divide for people everywhere.
The initial constellation will be compromised of approximately 650 satellites and will scale to more than 900 spacecraft as it grows to meet demand around the world. OneWeb signed a contract with Arianespace in 2015 for 21 Soyuz launches.
A larger version of the above photo is available in the Gallery.