overview

Launch date
July 1, 2021
Payload(s)
36 OneWeb satellites
Launch vehicle
Soyuz
Launch site
Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia
Customer(s)
OneWeb
Prime contractor(s)
OneWeb Satellites
Orbit
Low-Earth orbit
Status
Success

mission
description

FLIGHT ST33

This 58th Soyuz mission conducted by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate will be operated from Vostochny Cosmodrome for the fifth time and represents OneWeb’s eighth launch overall.

Realizing revolution in space with a total fleet of 254 satellites in low Earth orbit. There will finally be enough satellites to deliver connectivity services in Canada, U.K., Northern Europe, Alaska and Arctic regions by the years end.

By operating this flight on behalf of OneWeb, Arianespace participates in the fulfilment of its customer’s ultimate ambition: providing internet access to help bridge the digital divide.

Washington, D.C.
08:48 a.m.
Universal Time (UTC)
12:48
in Paris
02:48 p.m.
Moscow
03:48 p.m.
Tokyo
09:48 p.m.
Vostochny Cosmodrome
09:48 p.m.

Payload

OneWeb

Flight ST33, the fifth commercial mission from Vostochny Cosmodrome performed by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate, will put 36 of OneWeb’s satellites bringing the total fleet to 254 satellites into a near-polar orbit at an altitude of 450 kilometers. After separation,  the satellites will raise themselves to their operational orbit.

The first six OneWeb satellites were successfully orbited by Arianespace on Soyuz Flight VS21 from French Guiana on February 27, 2019. On February 7, 2020, Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate launched 34 OneWeb satellites from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Soyuz Flight ST27.

On March 21, 2020, the team successfully delivered an additional 34 satellites into orbit on Soyuz Flight ST28. On December 18, 2020, the first Soyuz from Vostochny placed in orbit 36 satellites on Flight ST29. On March 25, 2021, the team successfully placed in orbit 36 satellites on Flight ST30. On April 26, 2021, Flight ST31 orbited 36 satellites.

Finally, Flight ST32 successfully delivered an additional 36 satellites on May 29, 2021.

OneWeb’s mission is to create a global connectivity platform through a next-generation satellite constellation in low Earth orbit. The OneWeb constellation will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity to a wide range of customer sectors, including aviation, maritime, enterprise and governments. Central to its purpose, OneWeb seeks to bring connectivity to the hardest to reach places, where fiber cannot reach, and thereby bridge the digital divide.

Once deployed, the OneWeb constellation will enable user terminals that are capable of offering 3G, LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi coverage, providing high-speed access globally by air, sea and land.

In 2021, the company is focused on scaling the satellite constellation to launch commercial services starting at the end of 2021 to the UK, Alaska, Canada, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, and the Arctic Seas. After ST33, 11 Soyuz launches remain for OneWeb under contract with Arianespace which has more than 300 additional satellites to be launched in the Arianespace’s backlog.

OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space, where OneWeb Satellites is the constellation’s prime contractor. The satellites were built thanks to its leading-edge satellite manufacturing process that can build up to two satellites a day on a series production line dedicated to the assembly, integration, and testing of the satellites. The facility is running at full speed, within the coronavirus pandemic guidelines, manufacturing satellites that are tested and ready now, and also for future launches.

With the launch of 36 OneWeb satellites on Flight ST33, Arianespace will put in orbit a total of 385 spacecraft from Airbus Defence and Space (including OneWeb Satellites – a joint-venture between OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space founded in 2016).

The Arianespace backlog of payloads remaining to be launched for Airbus Defence and Space (excluding the remaining OneWeb satellites) counts 20 additional payloads.

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