Arianespace SA lifted off a rocket with six satellites made by OneWeb Systems Inc. into space this morning. OneWeb has announced that these satellites have been deployed in the space perfectly. The founder of OneWeb, Greg Wyler has stated that there is a lot of hope in this rocket.
OneWeb is a startup company which was founded back in 2012 by Wyler. This company was able to pull investments from companies like Virgin Group, Qualcomm Inc, Airbus SE, and some other companies to build their initial fleet of 650 satellites. They raised more than 2 billion USD. OneWeb is a year behind Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and they have observed the pair of satellites that were launched into space by their rivalry. The startup was under huge pressure to launch the satellites into orbit by the end of November because their right to the valuable spectrum will be expired in November. Both Space Exploration Technologies and OneWeb have planned to launch a fleet of satellites into space by the end of this year in order to broaden their services.
These 6 satellites are just test units, and the company will likely pull them from their paces by the next six months. This will give them the assurance that their satellites worked as expected. Wyler said that if they pull all the satellites in working condition, then it means that they have succeeded in this process.
European aerospace company Arianespace took the responsibility of launching these satellites into space. A large site in French Guiana is used as rocket hub by this company, and they launched all the six satellites from there only. These new satellites are smaller and cheaper than the older satellite models.