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OneWeb and New Space India sign satellite launch programme

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Following multiple deals last month, UK low earth orbit satellite company OneWeb has agreed a new launch programme with the Indian Space Research Organisation.

The deal between New Space India – the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation – and low earth orbit satellite firm OneWeb will see its craft begin launching later this year from the Satrish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

These launches will bulk up OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation of 428 satellites – which constitutes 66 per cent of the planned total fleet. The intention is to build out a global network for high-speed, low-latency connectivity.

“This is yet another historic day for collaboration in Space, thanks to the shared ambition and vision of New Space India and OneWeb,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, OneWeb Executive Chairman, said. “This most recent agreement on launch plans adds considerable momentum to the development of OneWeb’s network, as we work together across the Space industry toward our common goal of connecting communities globally.”

It’s been a busy few months for OneWeb’s contract lawyers, the UK firm having signed a flurry of deals on different fronts recently. In March it signed an agreement to allow it to resume sending up satellites into space again by using SpaceX rockets, following its decision to suspend all its upcoming satellite launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, a spaceport located in Khazakstan and leased to Russia, due to the invasion of Ukraine.

Following that it announced a distribution partnership agreement with fellow satellite operator Eutelsat, which will apparently allow the two firms to develop combined GEO and LEO ‘connectivity solutions.’ At about the same time, it was announced Australian telco Telstra is set to build three dedicated teleports across Australia to provide satellite gateway services (ground based comms, essentially) for OneWeb in the Southern Hemisphere, as part of a ten year deal between the two companies.

 

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