The first fully commercial launch from Vostochny was a success
VOSTOCHNY, December 18. - A successful launch of 36 OneWeb satellites aboard the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage was executed on Friday from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The launch was carried out under the contract between Glavkosmos (part of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) and the European launch services provider Arianespace in close cooperation with other Roscosmos enterprises: Progress Space Rocket Center, Lavochkin Association, and TsENKI.
“The foreign partners of Glavkosmos have confirmed that our company has fulfilled its contractual obligations. All the satellites have been launched into target orbits,” said Glavkosmos Director General Dmitry Loskutov. He also reminded that this launch of OneWeb satellites was the first fully commercial mission in the history of the Vostochny Spaceport. “We are satisfied with the launch and look forward to further successful development of the commercial segment of launches from Vostochny,” Loskutov said.
The separation of the Fregat upper stage from the third stage was nominal, during nearly four hours in accordance with the flight sequence the spacecraft were separated from the upper stage nine times and put into target orbits.
OneWeb low Earth orbit satellites are designed to provide consumers on the ground with high-speed Internet directly through satellite communications. Today’s launch brought the number of OneWeb spacecraft in orbit to 110 and the company is planning to launch hundreds more.
The first six OneWeb satellites were launched by Arianespace on February 28, 2019 from the spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana) aboard a Soyuz-ST launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage. On February 7 and March 22, 2020, Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate successfully launched into orbit two batches of 34 satellites aboard a Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Glavkosmos, JSC is a subsidiary of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos. The main task of the company is to promote the achievements of the Russian rocket and space industry to world markets and manage complex international projects. During its thirty-five year history, the company has successfully fulfilled over 140 international contracts, including the launch of more than 150 spacecraft as a secondary payload.
ROSCOSMOS is a State Corporation established in August 2015 to carry out a comprehensive reform of the Russian rocket and space industry. ROSCOSMOS ensures the implementation of the state policy in space activities and its normative and legal regulations, as well as places orders for the design, production and supply of space equipment and space infrastructure. Its functions also include the development of international space cooperation, as well as the establishing of environment for application of space domain achievements for the social and economic development in Russia.