Breaking: Musk’s SpaceX rescues OneWeb’s launches

Breaking: Musk’s SpaceX rescues OneWeb’s launches

Elon Musk

Elon Musk and his launch company SpaceX are rescuing OneWeb in a deal to launch the rest of the company’s satellites.

In an announcement this morning, OneWeb said SpaceX, headed by Elon Musk (pictured), has entered into an agreement that will enable OneWeb to resume satellite launches.

OneWeb abandoned these launches last month as the Russians invaded Ukraine. A total of 36 OneWeb satellites were already on top of a Russian Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur space port, and OneWeb planned to use further Soyuz rockets for the rest of the launched.

OneWeb already has 428 satellites in orbit, with 220 still awaiting launch, including the 36 seized in Baikonur.

Now, OneWeb says SpaceX will take over the launch contract. SpaceX owns Starlink, which is a competitor to OneWeb.

OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson said: “We thank SpaceX for their support, which reflects our shared vision for the boundless potential of space. With these launch plans in place, we’re on track to finish building out our full fleet of satellites and deliver robust, fast, secure connectivity around the globe.”

The first launch is expected this year, though modifications will be needed either to the launcher or the OneWeb satellites – or both – to make them compatible, as the existing satellites were designed from the start to fit Soyuz rockets.

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