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Soyuz August 22, 2021

Following VA254 and VV19, Flight ST34 marks Arianespace’s third successful launch in less than one month

- Arianespace just successfully performed Soyuz Flight ST34. This latest launch for OneWeb’s places 34 more satellites into orbit.

– Following Ariane 5 VA254 and Vega VV19, ST34 is Arianespace’s third successful mission, with three different launchers, in less than one month, precisely 23 days. With these three missions, Arianespace has placed 41 satellites ranging from 1,4 kg up to 6.190kg into three different orbits (GEO, SSO and LEO) for the benefit of six clients.

– Following this 9th launch for OneWeb, Arianespace has deployed 288 satellites in Low Earth Orbit for their constellation.

Performed on Sunday, August 22 at precisely 3:13 a.m. local time at Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome (10:13 p.m. UTC on August 21), Soyuz Flight ST34 lifted-off with 34 OneWeb satellites onboard, bringing, after the successful deployment, the size of the fleet in orbit to 288. Flight ST34 was the 59th Soyuz mission carried out by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate. The mission lasted three hours and 45 minutes. The 34 satellites have been separated, during nine separation sequences, at an altitude of 450 km. It was also the third successful launch operated by Arianespace’s teams in less than one month.

“Congratulations to all the teams who made this ninth launch dedicated to OneWeb’s satellites a success,” said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace. “Every single mission is special, but ST34 is the demonstration of our ability, no matter when or where, to deliver the best possible service! We operated three successful launches from two continents in precisely 23 days -less than one month-, with three different launchers, Ariane 5, Vega and Soyuz. Any time, any mass, any orbit: this is once again what we achieved to the benefit of our customers!”

To date, Arianespace has launched 288 OneWeb satellites with nine Soyuz launches. Arianespace will perform 10 more Soyuz launches for OneWeb through 2021 and 2022. These launches will enable OneWeb to complete the deployment of its full global constellation of low Earth orbit satellites before the end of 2022.

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 government. 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.

The satellite prime contractor is OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture of OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space. The satellites were produced in Florida, USA in its leading-edge satellite manufacturing facilities that can build up to two satellites per day on a series production line dedicated to spacecraft assembly, integration, and testing.

The launch of the satellites was operated by Arianespace and its Euro-Russian affiliate Starsem under contract with Glavkosmos, a subsidiary of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. Arianespace is responsible for the overall mission and flight-worthiness, with the support of Starsem for launch campaign activities including management of its own launch facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. RKTs-Progress (the Samara Space Center) is responsible for the design, development, manufacture and integration of the Soyuz launch vehicle as well as for the 3-stage Soyuz flight. NPO Lavotchkin is responsible for the launch preparation operations and flight of the Fregat orbital vehicle.

About Arianespace

Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 900 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and from the Russian cosmodromes in Baikonur and Vostochny. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.

About Starsem

Starsem is dedicated to providing international commercial marketing and operation of the Soyuz launch vehicle from the Baikonur cosmodrome. Shareholders in Starsem are Arianespace, ArianeGroup, the State Space Corporation ROSCOSMOS and the Samara Space Center “RKTs-Progress.”

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