VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME : A Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the Fregat booster and 36 British OneWeb communications satellites blasted off from the Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s Far East.
The Fregat booster with the satellites successfully separated from the carrier rocket several minutes after the launch, Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos announced in a live broadcast on its website.
The Soyuz-2.1b rocket lifted off from the Vostochny spaceport at 3:48 p.m. Moscow time. It will take the booster about four hours to orbit the satellites. The satellites will separate in several stages. As a result, the British company’s orbital constellation will grow to 254 satellites.
The first six OneWeb satellites were orbited by a Soyuz-ST carrier rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on February 28, 2019. Another 34 satellites were delivered into outer space on February 7, 2020, and the same amount on March 21 from the Baikonur spaceport.
OneWeb satellites were launched from the Vostochny spaceport for the first time in December 2020. A total of 36 space vehicles were put into orbit. After that, OneWeb satellites were launched from the Vostochny spaceport on March 25, April 26 and May 28, 2021.
OneWeb’s renewed agreement with the French Arianespace that acts as the launch operator stipulates the lift-off of 16 Russian Soyuz carrier rockets from the Kourou, Vostochny and Baikonur spaceports in 2020-2022. Each launch allows orbiting 34-36 OneWeb satellites.