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The Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with 34 OneWeb satellites is installed on the launch pad at Baikonur

August 16, 2021

BAIKONUR, August 16. - The Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage and 34 OneWeb communications satellites was rolled out from the Assembly and Test Facility on Monday. The launch vehicle was installed on the launch pad of the Baikonur osmodrome, the launch is scheduled for Thursday, August 19, at 22:23 UTC (Friday, August 20, 01:23 Moscow time).

Pre-launch activities are carried out under the contracts of Glavkosmos (a subsidiary of Roscosmos) with the European launch services provider Arianespace (the company operates launches of OneWeb spacecraft with the use of the Soyuz launch vehicle), and the company Starsem.

The joint team of the foreign customers and the representatives of Roscosmos enterprises: Progress Space Rocket Center, Lavochkin Association, TsENKI and Glavkosmos, is carrying out these works.

Currently, the specialists at the spaceport are performing the final technical operations. The pre-launch tests of the Soyuz-2.1b systems are being conducted, and the interfaces between the on-board instruments and ground equipment are being checked.

Now, the fleet of the OneWeb satellites in the low Earth orbit amounts to 254 spacecraft, and hundreds more are to be launched. The upcoming launch should bring the number of OneWeb spacecraft in orbit to 288.

OneWeb low Earth orbit satellites are designed to provide consumers on the ground with high-speed Internet.

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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 to manage complex international projects. During its more than thirty-five year history, the company has successfully fulfilled over 140 international contracts, including the launch of more than 170 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.