February 27th, 2019, Arianespace flight V21 has successfully launched the first six Airbus OneWeb satellites for the global broadband mega constellation. Perfectly on time the medium-lift Soyuz started from Guiana Space Center in Kourou French Guiana at 10.37 p.m. (UTC + 1 h).
1 h and 23 minutes after liftoff the six satellites were successfully separated to the Low Earth Orbit at approximately 1,000 km – close to their operational orbit.
AOS mission Phase 1
The deployment of Phase 1 includes 21 launches with the medium-lift Soyuz through 2020. The launches of the initial constellation of 650 satellites will be affected from three spaceports: Kourou in French Guiana, the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and Vostochny in Russia.
AOS mission goal
This mega constellation is planned to grow up to over 900 Airbus OneWeb satellites to meet demand around the globe.
AOS will start customer demos in 2020 with the final goal of 24h global coverage in 2021.
SpaceTech’s part in the mission
STI was selected to develop and deliver the 1800 mechanisms for successful deployment of the satellite’s solar panels.