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Soyuz rocket launches 7th batch of OneWeb satellites

The seventh batch of OneWeb satellites is launched atop a Soyuz 2.1b rocket from Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia. Credit: Roscosmos

The seventh batch of OneWeb satellites is launched atop a Soyuz 2.1b rocket from Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia. Credit: Roscosmos

The launch of OneWeb’s seventh batch of satellites took place at 1:38 p.m. EDT (17:38 UTC) May 28, 2021, from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia.

With this launch of 36 made-in-Florida satellites, the number of spacecraft for OneWeb’s orbital internet constellation is now 218 satellites as it prepares to go live later this year for commercial service in regions above the 50th parallel north with global service to follow in 2022.

The Russian spaceport known as Vostochny Cosmodrome is located above the 51st parallel in the Amur Oblast, Russia’s Far East, hosting its first launch in 2016.

On July 3, 2020, the United Kingdom was successful in their bid to acquire a significant equity share in OneWeb, a global communications company founded by Greg Wyler. The company filed for bankruptcy May 27, 2020, blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for its inability to raise capital.

The company had to lay off 85% of its 531 employees before filing for Chapter 11 relief. OneWeb’s remaining employees were left to manage the 74 launched satellites.

OneWeb has seen an increasingly-significant interest from governments, aviation industries, automotive and the maritime industries, to name a few, in its high-speed, low-latency connectivity services.

The company’s headquarters is in the UK while manufacturing remains in Cape Canaveral, Florida, at this time. The $500 million dollar investment by the British into the cutting-edge satellite company alongside Bharti Global LTD, which is part of a group controlling the third largest mobile operator in the world, is to provide a revenue base to contribute to its future success. The acquisition enabled the company to move forward with and complete a global satellite constellation and offer the UK other strategic opportunities across a broader range of applications in conjunction with allies around the globe. The overall investment is valued at $1billion.

The new management anticipates offering a commercial service this fall to northern latitudes — including the UK, Northern Europe, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and Arctic Seas — with a full global roll-out of connectivity in mid-2022.

Video courtesy of OneWeb


Theresa Cross grew up on the Space Coast. It’s only natural that she would develop a passion for anything “Space” and its exploration. During these formative years, she also discovered that she possessed a talent and love for defining the unique quirks and intricacies that exist in mankind, nature, and machines. Hailing from a family of photographers—including her father and her son, Theresa herself started documenting her world through pictures at a very early age. As an adult, she now exhibits an innate photographic ability to combine what appeals to her heart and her love of technology to deliver a diversified approach to her work and artistic presentations. Theresa has a background in water chemistry, fluid dynamics, and industrial utility.

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