OneWeb, a startup, on Wednesday sent its 6 satellites for the first time into the space. The startup sent the satellites by Arianespace Soyuz rocket from French Guiana. The company is planning to launch its 650 satellites through an interconnected network which is called constellation. Once the satellite reaches the orbit, it will provide internet across the world, said Adrian Steckel, the CEO of the company. He said that it is a big thing for the company as the satellites are all fully working. Many companies like SpaceX, Boeing, and Telesat are all in the race of launching internet constellations. Last year SpaceX has launched its two test satellites for Starlink network. It aims to place 4,425 satellites into the orbit.
In order to fund its project, OneWeb has collected $2 billion and more. Due to its huge capital and requirements, the startup has partnered with or raised investment from Virgin Group, Intelsat, Hughes Communications, Coca-Cola, Qualcomm, Maxar Technologies and Airbus. Steckel said that the company has not talked much about its first launch and that people might wonder what is happening but they have been just working. OneWeb said that their mission is to provide smooth internet coverage to the world by 2021. The company’s CEO said that they are set to become the biggest internet provider.
OneWeb has various facilities in Virginia and London. It is constructing a manufacturing facility in Florida. Each satellite of OneWeb would cost $1 million. The CEO said that they are set for scale and they can maximum do two satellites a day.
In order to manufacture the satellites, OneWeb joined hands with Airbus. The 6 satellites were manufactured in France where the company has a facility nearby the manufacturing plant of Airbus. The CEO added that company is expecting a successful launch and that their second launch will be in 2019 fourth quarter.