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Artykuły o OneWeb
« Odpowiedź #30 dnia: Marzec 30, 2020, 13:51 »
Citing coronavirus, internet satellite company OneWeb files for bankruptcy
Emre Kelly Florida Today Published 11:47 AM EDT Mar 28, 2020 [Florida Today]


A Russian Soyuz rocket launches with OneWeb internet-beaming satellites from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 21. OneWeb

OneWeb, the parent company of an organization that manufactures internet-beaming satellites near Kennedy Space Center, filed for bankruptcy late Friday, citing the coronavirus pandemic as a significant driver behind the decision.

In a release, OneWeb said it filed for Chapter 11 relief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and hoped to sell its business "in order to maximize the value of the company."

"It is with a very heavy heart that we have been forced to reduce our workforce and enter the Chapter 11 process," OneWeb CEO Adrian Steckel said in a statement, confirming COVID-19 as the main reason. "The company's remaining employees are focused on responsibly managing our nascent constellation and working with the court and investors."

The company did not specify how much of its workforce at the KSC division, located near Blue Origin on Space Commerce Way, would be impacted, but did say there have been layoffs and furloughs. OneWeb is the parent company, while OneWeb Satellites is a separate division that manufactures spacecraft on KSC-owned land outside the center's gates.

Airbus Defense and Space owns half of OneWeb Satellites, while OneWeb owns the other half.

"Like many companies and industries, the COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately had a direct negative impact on our business. The resulting economic disruptions are slowing supply chains and are interfering with our ability to travel and fully operate our sites," the local operation said in statement to FLORIDA TODAY.

"A reduction in force is required to maintain our operations," the statement reads. "We are primarily implementing temporary furloughs to have the flexibility to respond to the changing environment."

OneWeb also operates an administrative office in Suntree.

Its neighbor, the KSC Visitor Complex, is also closed and some employees have been told to use paid time off in order to continue getting paychecks.

In its 21-page bankruptcy filing, OneWeb said it by far owes the most money – $238 million – to European launch provider Arianespace. Its next largest obligation, worth $8 million, is to California-based Qualcomm, a semiconductor and telecommunications company. On the Space Coast, the filings show that OneWeb owes USSI Global, based in Melbourne, about $550,000.

The company has also received billions of dollars in investments with SoftBank, a Japanese conglomerate, as one of the most prominent.

With 74 satellites already in low-Earth orbit and future launches scheduled, the company has demonstrated the technical feasibility of its small-satellite internet constellation. Users have seen speeds up to 400 Mbps with medium latency, which is roughly comparable to what some customers can get at home.

OneWeb was the first company to receive approval from the Federal Communications Commission for a low-Earth orbit mega-constellation of internet satellites, which are about the size of a mini-fridge. The constellations differ from legacy systems, which have been in operation for decades and operate at high orbits thousands of miles above Earth.

SpaceX is perhaps the most visible example of a company looking to capitalize on the need for worldwide internet access with its Starlink constellation, which already has more than 350 satellites in orbit. It hopes to begin preliminary services for U.S. customers sometime late this year.

But CEO Elon Musk, knowing the history of internet-based internet and its inherent riskiness, said his main goal is to not "go bankrupt." The systems face significant challenges, like upfront development and launch costs, before they can even start providing services.


Source: https://eu.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2020/03/28/citing-coronavirus-oneweb-satellites-ksc-files-bankruptcy/2932056001/
« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 29, 2021, 01:59 wysłana przez Orionid »

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Odp: [SpaceNews] OneWeb’s Big Announcement Should Quiet Doubters
« Odpowiedź #31 dnia: Marzec 30, 2020, 13:52 »
OneWeb files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
by Caleb Henry — March 27, 2020 This story was updated March 28 after OneWeb announced its Chapter 11 filing.  [SN]


Softbank, having already invested $2 billion in OneWeb, declined to invest more. Credit: OneWeb

WASHINGTON — Satellite internet startup OneWeb filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday after its largest investor, Softbank, rejected a request for additional funding.

“It is with a very heavy heart that we have been forced to reduce our workforce and enter the Chapter 11 process while the Company’s remaining employees are focused on responsibly managing our nascent constellation and working with the Court and investors,” OneWeb CEO Adrien Steckel said in a news release issued late Friday night.

OneWeb filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The company had laid off about 85% of its 531 employees prior to filing for bankruptcy.

Softbank, having already invested roughly $2 billion in OneWeb, decided it was the “responsible decision” not to invest further given the startup’s high cash needs, compounded by the global financial instability caused by the coronavirus, one source said.

OneWeb, in its March 27 news release, blamed the coronavirus pandemic for its inability to raise the money it needed to avoid bankruptcy.

“Since the beginning of the year, OneWeb had been engaged in advanced negotiations regarding investment that would fully fund the Company through its deployment and commercial launch,” OneWeb said in the news release. “While the Company was close to obtaining financing, the process did not progress because of the financial impact and market turbulence related to the spread of COVID-19.”

OneWeb, which has been aiming to launch at least 648 satellites to deliver global broadband connectivity, has 74 satellites in orbit following a March 21 launch that put up 34. The U.K.-based company has raised $3.4 billion, but outside analysts estimated the satellite system would require as much as $7.5 billion to complete.

Launch service provider Arianespace tops the list of OneWeb creditors in unsecured claims, with $238 million. OneWeb signed a $1.1 billion contract with Arianespace in 2015 for 21 Soyuz launches. Last year OneWeb signed another contract with Arianespace for the maiden flight of the Ariane 6, with options for two more Ariane 6 missions.

Arianespace has provided three of the contracted launches to date, and was expected to conduct a fourth launch in May.

OneWeb’s top four shareholders are Softbank (37.41%), Qualcomm (15.93%), Greg Wyler’s 1110 Ventures LLC, (11.94%), and Airbus (8.5%).

OneWeb has accumulated more than $1.7 billion in debt, according to one of its March 27 bankruptcy filings.

The bankruptcy filing adds OneWeb to the list of companies that ran out of money trying to launch and operate large numbers of communications satellites into low Earth orbit.

Iridium, Globalstar, Orbcomm and Teledesic all went bankrupt about two decades ago, though only Teledesic failed to emerge from bankruptcy and deploy a second-generation constellation. Filing for Chapter 11 gives companies a chance to emerge from bankruptcy debt free and remain in business, albeit usually with a different ownership structure.


Source: https://spacenews.com/oneweb-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy/

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Odp: [SN] OneWeb’s revival worries astronomers
« Odpowiedź #32 dnia: Lipiec 11, 2020, 22:34 »
OneWeb’s revival worries astronomers
by Jeff Foust — July 7, 2020


A constellation of as many as 48,000 OneWeb satellites could pose serious issues for groundbased astronomy, astronomers warned at a conference last week. Credit: OneWeb artist's concept

WASHINGTON — A potential return to operations of satellite megaconstellation company OneWeb is a new source of worry for astronomers who previously had been focused on the effect SpaceX’s Starlink satellites will have on their observations.

OneWeb, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March, announced July 3 that the British government and Indian telecom company Bharti Global will provide $1 billion in new funding to recapitalize the company. That offer is pending approval by a U.S. bankruptcy court at a July 10 hearing.

OneWeb said that the new funding would allow the company to “effectuate the full end-to-end deployment of the OneWeb system,” but didn’t elaborate on those plans. The company suspended launches after the Chapter 11 filing after placing 74 satellites of an initial 650-satellite constellation into orbit. However, in May the company filed a proposal with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission seeking to increase its constellation by 48,000 satellites.

The prospect of a recapitalized OneWeb resuming launches of hundreds, or potentially tens of thousands, of satellites is a new concern for astronomers. Those satellites, astronomers said during sessions July 3 of the European Astronomical Society’s annual conference, held online, are a particular concern because of their higher altitudes.

“The big problem is low Earth orbiting satellites much higher than 600 kilometers,” said Tony Tyson, chief scientist for the Vera Rubin Observatory, a wide-field telescope under construction in Chile. The higher a satellite’s altitude, the longer it is visible after sunset and before sunrise. “They’re illuminated all night long in the summertime.”

OneWeb’s satellites operate at an altitude of 1,200 kilometers. While too dim to be seen with the naked eye — they are at approximately eighth magnitude — they are still bright enough to pose a problem for professional astronomers.

“It is clear that a huge constellation of 50,000 satellites at high altitude is the most threatening to visible astronomy,” said Olivier Hainaut, an astronomer at the European Southern Observatory who has modeled the effect of satellite constellations on groundbased astronomy.

At the time of OneWeb’s Chapter 11 filing, the company had only just started to discuss with astronomers the impact of their satellites on observations. A working group of the American Astronomical Society had one teleconference with OneWeb about the topic before the bankruptcy.

Some astronomers said at the conference they will look to the British government, as one of the new owners of OneWeb, to intervene on the subject. “We have not heard anything from the U.K. government,” Hainaut said during a conference session just a few hours after OneWeb announced the deal.

Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society, said in a press briefing after the conference sessions that OneWeb did participate in a meeting his society held in January on the issue. “We thought they’d disappeared” after their bankruptcy filing. “Then, weirdly, they filed this license application for 48,000 satellites, which took people by surprise.”

“I would hope that the U.K. government uses its leverage that it now has to help ensure that they are good a partner in this and they engage with the astronomy and space science community,” he said.

Waiting on VisorSat

Astronomers at the meeting contrasted OneWeb with SpaceX, whose initial launches of Starlink satellites more than a year first raised the alarm among astronomers about the effect such satellites would have on their observations.

Since the initial Starlink launch in May 2019, astronomers have met regularly with SpaceX, and the company has made efforts to reduce the brightness of its satellites. In January, it launched an experimental satellite dubbed “DarkSat” with darkened surfaces intended to make the satellite less reflective. In June, it started launching “VisorSats,” Starlink satellites equipped with sunshades to block sunlight from hitting reflective surfaces.

The first VisorSat has yet to reach its operational orbit, and thus astronomers can’t yet determine how effective it is. “There are many people who are going to measure it as soon as it is in position,” said Hainaut at the press briefing. “It is a matter of weeks.”

Astronomers hope that VisorSat will be significantly dimmer than unmodified Starlink satellites, with a goal of reaching seventh magnitude. “We are pretty sure that seventh magnitude for the satellite would get us out of woods” in terms of the worst effects the satellites would have on Rubin Observatory observations, Tyson said.

Starlink satellites will still leave a trail on images that will interfere with observations, but Tyson praised SpaceX for making efforts to mitigate the worst effects of the constellation. “It seems like the SpaceX brightness mitigation efforts are on track and actually set an example for the industry to follow,” he said.

Patricia Cooper, SpaceX vice president of satellite government relations, said at the conference that the company has taken other measures to mitigate the effect of Starlink on astronomy, including lowering the altitude of some of its satellites from 1,100 to 550 kilometers, a move that also benefits safety of space operations. “I don’t expect us to fly any of our future satellites at higher altitudes,” she said.

Cooper credited “robust and frank talk” between the company and astronomers, many of whom were sharply critical of Starlink when launches started last year, for driving those improvements. “We’ve done our contribution in raising awareness that constellations can be a problem for astronomy,” she said. “We’re a venture that attracts a lot of attention, for better or worse.”


Source: https://spacenews.com/onewebs-revival-worries-astronomers/

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Odp: [SpaceNews] UK Parliament to scrutinize OneWeb purchase
« Odpowiedź #33 dnia: Lipiec 27, 2020, 10:23 »
UK Parliament to scrutinize OneWeb purchase
by Caleb Henry — July 23, 2020 [SN]


Artist's rendition of a OneWeb satellite in low Earth orbit. Credit: OneWeb Satellites

WASHINGTON — A U.K. parliamentary committee said it will review the steps that led to the government’s bid for struggling megaconstellation startup OneWeb, arguing that the $500-million investment decision was rushed and jeopardizes British taxpayer dollars.

Darren Jones, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee in Parliament, said Wednesday that the decision to take a 45% stake in OneWeb appears to have been hurried through before the government could fully evaluate whether it was a smart move.

“This whole decision-making process seems unusual and doesn’t have the transparency that it requires,” he said in a video posted to Twitter. “Therefore, my committee will be holding an inquiry to understand the decision making behind this purchase.”

Jones’ committee oversees the British government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which announced July 3 that it and partner Bharti Global, an Indian telecommunications company, were acquiring OneWeb. Bharti Global is also investing $500 million into OneWeb, which raised $3.4 billion before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.

Jones on July 22 released a series of letters between Samantha Beckett, the acting permanent secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Alok Sharma, that department’s Secretary of State. In a letter dated July 8 — five days after the U.K. announced its intent to co-purchase OneWeb — Beckett wrote that she had “insufficient time to make a full assessment of the proposed investment.”

Beckett said while there were “good reasons to proceed” with investing in OneWeb, “it was not possible for me to assure Parliament that the investment represents value for money to the standards expected.”

One week prior to the OneWeb investment, Sharma informed Beckett that he had received approval from Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer (the government’s chief financial minister) to proceed with buying the megaconstellation startup out of bankruptcy.

Sharma said he consulted with the U.K.’s treasury, space agency, members of his department and cabinet officials before pledging to invest in OneWeb, and concluded the government would have a positive return.

Sharma said OneWeb could connect millions of people globally to the internet, and has the added upside of “potentially bringing future manufacturing to the UK.”

OneWeb currently builds its satellites at a purpose-built $85 million factory in Florida with Airbus through the joint venture OneWeb Satellites. Before filing for bankruptcy, OneWeb launched 74 of a planned 648 satellites.

Jones, in announcing the inquiry, took issue with the lack of clarity on if, when and how much of OneWeb’s constellation would be produced in the U.K.

“Using nearly half a billion pounds of tax-payers money to gamble on a ‘commercial opportunity’ whilst still failing to support manufacturing jobs with a sector deal is both troubling and concerning,” Jones said in a July 22 statement.

OneWeb’s bankruptcy court approved its acquisition by the U.K. government and Bharti Global on July 10. The purchase is expected to close late this year.


Source: https://spacenews.com/uk-parliament-to-scrutinize-oneweb-purchase/
« Ostatnia zmiana: Grudzień 18, 2020, 16:55 wysłana przez Orionid »

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Odp: [SpaceNews] UK Parliament to scrutinize OneWeb purchase
« Odpowiedź #33 dnia: Lipiec 27, 2020, 10:23 »

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Odp: [SpaceNews] OneWeb emerges from Chapter 11 with new CEO
« Odpowiedź #34 dnia: Grudzień 18, 2020, 15:55 »
OneWeb emerges from Chapter 11 with new CEO
by Jeff Foust — November 20, 2020


With the sale of OneWeb to its new owners now complete, the company says it will resume launches of its satellites with a Soyuz launch scheduled for Dec. 17 from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. Credit: GK Launch Services

WASHINGTON — OneWeb announced Nov. 20 that its sale to an ownership group led by Bharti Global and the British government has closed, allowing the company to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with a new chief executive.

OneWeb said it had completed “all relevant regulatory approvals,” allowing the sale of the company to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Bharti Global and the British government each own 42.2% of the broadband satellite constellation company, with most the rest owned by SoftBank and Hughes Network Systems.

The completion of sale comes with a change in leadership at the company. OneWeb said that Neil Masterson will take over as chief executive, replacing Adrian Steckel. Masterson comes from outside the space and telecommunications industries, having spent the last 20 years at Thomson Reuters, most recently as co-chief operating officer.

“I am looking forward to helping the OneWeb team deliver and commercialize their vision to provide internet access across the globe,” Masterson said in a company statement. “OneWeb has a strong social purpose to improve the world’s access to information, which I share.”

Steckel, who had been chief executive of OneWeb since September 2018, will remain as an adviser to the company’s board.

Bharti Global and the British government made a winning bid of $1 billion for OneWeb in July, and a U.S. federal bankruptcy court approved the sale Oct. 2. The company has since then been securing final approvals, such as one by the Federal Communications Commission Oct. 27 to transfer OneWeb’s satellite and ground station licenses to the company’s new owners.

At a Nov. 18 webinar, Ruth Pritchard-Kelly, vice president for regulatory affairs at OneWeb, predicted that the company would emerge from Chapter 11 “any day now” as it wrapped up the remaining paperwork. “Almost every t has been crossed and every i has been dotted,” she said. “Any day now, there will be a final announcement.”

The British government argued that the acquisition of OneWeb fit into a broader strategy to grow the country’s space industry. “This strategic investment demonstrates Government’s commitment to the U.K.’s space sector in the long-term and our ambition to put Britain at the cutting edge of the latest advances in space technology,” U.K. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said in a statement.

For Bharti Global, an Indian telecom company, the deal offers it an opportunity to leverage billions invested by the company’s original stakeholders. “Together with our U.K. Government partner, we recognized that OneWeb has valuable global spectrum with priority rights, and we benefit from $3.3 billion invested to date and from the satellites already in orbit, securing our usage rights,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman of Bharti Global, in that statement.

OneWeb also confirmed that it will resume satellite launches with a Dec. 17 launch of 36 satellites on a Soyuz rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia. The company expects to have its full constellation of about 650 satellites in orbit by the end of 2022, with initial service in Arctic regions starting by late 2021.


Source: https://spacenews.com/oneweb-emerges-from-chapter-11-with-new-ceo/
« Ostatnia zmiana: Marzec 27, 2021, 19:24 wysłana przez Orionid »

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Odp: [SpaceNews] OneWeb optimistic about raising the funding needed
« Odpowiedź #35 dnia: Grudzień 18, 2020, 15:56 »
OneWeb optimistic about raising the funding needed to complete its constellation
by Jeff Foust — December 15, 2020


A Soyuz rocket carrying 36 OneWeb satellites is readied to roll out to the pad at Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome for a Dec. 18 launch. Credit: Roscosmos

WASHINGTON — The new executive chairman of OneWeb is optimistic the company can raise the billions of dollars of additional funding needed to complete development of the company’s broadband constellation and work on a second generation of the system.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, which joined forces with the British government to acquire OneWeb out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, acknowledged at an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) conference Dec. 9 that space is a “capital intensive” industry but that his experience with terrestrial telecommunications markets made him confident that the company will be able to raise the required funding.

He estimated the cost of getting OneWeb’s initial constellation of about 650 satellites into orbit, and establishing the other infrastructure needed for the network, at between $5.5 billion and $7 billion. “Thankfully, OneWeb spent a lot of money in the first phase, and that’s where a lot of money goes booking the launches, building satellites,” he said.

He estimated OneWeb will need to raise $2.5 billion to complete the constellation. Half of that, he said, has been arranged between Bharti Enterprises and the U.K. government, who combined own about 85% of the post-bankruptcy company. “I don’t see raising capital for this wonderful project for the balance amount to be any issue,” he said, noting that Bharti Enterprises had raised more than $12 billion in the last 18–24 months for other projects.

OneWeb halted deployment of the constellation shortly after filing for Chapter 11 in March. It will resume deployment Dec. 18 with the launch of 36 satellites on a Soyuz rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia. Mittal said launches will then follow roughly once a month until the constellation is completed.

That schedule will allow OneWeb to provide service in northern latitudes, which he defined as above 50 degrees north, by October or November of 2021. Full global coverage will follow in May or June of 2022.

Getting OneWeb into service requires more than deploying the satellites. Mittal also emphasized setting up ground stations, calling on governments to create “liberal policies to allow for ground station networks to be put up in their respective countries.”

Another key issue is creation of user terminals for the system. The industry, he argued, needs to ensure that those terminals are available “at price points which are affordable.” He didn’t specify a target price for such terminals.

While OneWeb is offering broadband services for applications ranging from cellular backhaul to aviation and maritime connectivity, Mittal said the company was also interested in pursuing navigation services. “Then, of course, there will be PNT — positioning, navigation and timing — applications to provide accurate locations and provide navigational aids to all the mobility industries,” he said.

OneWeb’s interest in PNT services has gotten a skeptical reception from the industry. Among other issues, the company’s satellites use a different frequency than the range used by global navigation systems, like GPS.

Mittal acknowledged later in the talk that the initial OneWeb system will not offer navigation services. “Right now in Gen 1, which are all being launched in the coming months, we’ll have the timing already built into it, but the positioning and navigation will have to wait until Gen 2, which I would say is a couple of years away,” he said.

He claimed those future services will be more accurate and less susceptible to interference than GPS, but didn’t elaborate on those claims, or give other details about those proposed services and their cost. “We have the ambition of providing PNT services through OneWeb,” he said. “We believe we will be onto this path in the coming years.”


Source: https://spacenews.com/oneweb-optimistic-about-raising-the-funding-needed-to-complete-its-constellation/

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Odp: [SN] OneWeb resumes satellite deployment with Soyuz launch
« Odpowiedź #36 dnia: Grudzień 18, 2020, 21:59 »
OneWeb resumes satellite deployment with Soyuz launch
by Jeff Foust — December 18, 2020 [SN]


A Soyuz rocket carrying 36 OneWeb satellites lifts off Dec. 18 from the Vostochny Cosmodrome, the first OneWeb launch since the company emerged from bankruptcy. Credit: Arianespace

WASHINGTON — OneWeb resumed deployment of its broadband satellite constellation with a Dec. 18 launch of 36 satellites, the first since the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

A Soyuz-2.1b rocket lifted off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia at 7:26 a.m. Eastern. The rocket’s Fregat upper stage released the 36 satellites in nine sets of four satellites each, maneuvering between deployments, completing the process nearly four hours after liftoff.

The Fregat deployed the satellites in orbits at an altitude of 450 kilometers. The spacecraft, built by the Airbus-OneWeb joint venture OneWeb Satellites, will use their onboard propulsion to move into their final orbits at an altitude of 1,200 kilometers. They will join 76 satellites previously launched on three previous Soyuz flights.

The launch was the first for OneWeb since a March 21 launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome that placed 34 satellites into orbit. Six days later, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. federal court, citing an inability to raise funding because of the pandemic.

A group led by Indian telecom company Bharti Global and the British government submitting a winning bid of $1 billion for OneWeb’s assets in July, a deal that closed Nov. 20. The company, under new ownership, also hired Neil Masterson, a former co-chief operating officer at Reuters, as its new chief executive.

This launch is the first under a revised contract with Arianespace concluded in September. That contract covers 16 Soyuz launches at a pace of roughly once a month to deploy the 648-satellite constellation.

“We felt that the important thing to do was to get a launch back up as soon as possible so that potential partners could see that OneWeb was back,” said Chris McLaughlin, chief of government, regulation and engagement at OneWeb, in an interview just as the last sets of satellites were being deployed. “That will lead those who were considering OneWeb to put us back on their shopping list.”

The company is just starting to ramp up sales efforts, having disbanded its original sales team when it filed for Chapter 11. McLaughlin said that the company is working in several markets, including aviation, maritime and defense applications.

The OneWeb Satellites factory in Florida is back to full operation, he said, producing two satellites a day. That keeps OneWeb on track to have enough satellites in orbit to provide service at latitudes above 50 degrees north by the fall of 2021, and have the full constellation in operation as soon as the middle of 2022.

To achieve that goal, the company needs to raise additional funding. Sunil Bharti Mittal, executive chairman of OneWeb, said Dec. 9 that the company needed to raise $2.5 billion, nearly half of which had already raised. He said he was confident that OneWeb can raise the remaining funding.

“We have a number of financial institutions who already want to put money in,” McLaughlin said. He added that OneWeb has been approached by two “large GEO” satellite operators that he declined to identify who are also interested in investing in OneWeb. The Financial Times reported OneWeb could close a $400 million round as soon as January.

“It’s been a long, hard time,” McLaughlin said. “We’re back to having competition in LEO.”


Source: https://spacenews.com/oneweb-resumes-satellite-deployment-with-soyuz-launch/

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Odp: [SpaceNews] OneWeb’s Big Announcement Should Quiet Doubters
« Odpowiedź #37 dnia: Marzec 26, 2021, 02:47 »
OneWeb slashes size of future satellite constellation
by Jeff Foust — January 14, 2021 [SN]


OneWeb says it's sharply reducing the size of a proposed next-generation satellite system from nearly 48,000 to less than 6,400 satellites. Credit: OneWeb artist's concept

WASHINGTON — OneWeb says it’s drastically reducing the size of a proposed next-generation satellite constellation originally envisioned to have nearly 48,000 satellites.

In a Jan. 12 filing with the Federal Communications Commission, OneWeb sought permission to amend an application filed in May requesting to launch 47,844 satellites for its “Phase Two” constellation. Instead, the company is proposing a system with 6,372 satellites.

The revised constellation, OneWeb said in a Jan. 13 statement, “demonstrates the commitment and vision” of its new owners, the British government and Indian telecom company Bharti Global, for “deploying a cost effective, responsible, and groundbreaking satellite network to deliver global broadband.”

The original Phase Two proposal filed with the FCC envisioned a system with 32 planes of 720 satellites each at an inclination of 40 degrees, 32 planes with 720 satellites each at an inclination of 55 degrees, and 36 planes with 49 satellites each at an inclination of 87.9 degrees, for a total of 47,844 satellites, all in orbits 1,200 kilometers high. Those would be in addition to its initial constellation of about 650 satellites the company is currently deploying, which is not affected by the proposed modification.

The revised system retains the same number and arrangement of orbital planes, but reduces the number of satellites in each of the 40-degree and 55-degree planes from 720 to 72. The satellites in the 87.9-degree orbital planes are unchanged, reducing the total size of the system to 6,372 satellites.

“OneWeb expects this revised deployment plan for its Phase 2 constellation will enable it to achieve superior end user throughput and spectral efficiency while reducing funding requirements and fostering OneWeb’s ‘Responsible Space’ vision,” the company said in its FCC filing. “This Amendment is an integral part of OneWeb’s commitment to support the long-term use of space for all by preserving the orbital environment.”

Despite reducing the size of the constellation by more than 85%, OneWeb asked the FCC to consider the amendment “minor” under its rules for assessing priority for various applications. The company said it is making no other changes, like frequency allocations, for the system, so “this proposed reduction in satellites will not increase the potential interference” for other systems.

It’s not clear how serious OneWeb was in its original proposal for launching nearly 48,000 satellites. The company filed the application when it was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and had suspended deployment of its first-generation system. That deployment resumed in December, after the company emerged from Chapter 11 under its new ownership.

The size of the system, larger than any other constellation proposed, alarmed some in the space sustainability field because of the heightened risk of orbital debris. Astronomers were also worried that the satellites would pose an even greater risk to their observations than SpaceX’s Starlink system.

“It is clear that a huge constellation of 50,000 satellites at high altitude is the most threatening to visible astronomy,” said Olivier Hainaut, an astronomer at the European Southern Observatory, during a July conference session on the effect of satellite megaconstellations on astronomy.


Source: https://spacenews.com/oneweb-slashes-size-of-future-satellite-constellation/
« Ostatnia zmiana: Marzec 27, 2021, 19:36 wysłana przez Orionid »

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Odp: [SpaceNews] OneWeb’s Big Announcement Should Quiet Doubters
« Odpowiedź #38 dnia: Marzec 26, 2021, 02:47 »
OneWeb raises $400 million
by Jeff Foust — January 15, 2021 [SN]


The new funding will support OneWeb's continued deployment of its initial 648-satellite constellation, which resumed with a Soyuz launch Dec. 18. Credit: Arianespace

WASHINGTON — Broadband satellite company OneWeb announced Jan. 15 it has raised $400 million from SoftBank and Hughes Network Systems, allowing the company to continue deployment of its constellation.

The new round includes $350 million from SoftBank, who was the biggest shareholder in OneWeb before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2020. The remainder is from Hughes Network Systems, which announced last year it would invest $50 million into the restructured company.

The companies did not disclose the new size of SoftBank’s stake in the company, but OneWeb announced that the Japanese company would get a seat on its board. According to an October notice by the Federal Communications Commission, SoftBank owned 12.3% of the company at the time, after owning 37.41% before the Chapter 11 filing.

The same FCC notice said that Hughes’ planned investment was still being finalized, but that the investment would not have a “meaningful impact” on OneWeb’s ownership, with Hughes holding a 2.6% stake. The British government and Indian telecom company Bharti Global, which acquired OneWeb for $1 billion, each owned 42.2% of the company at that time.

The funding will help support the company as it continues deployment of an initial constellation of 648 satellites. “We have made rapid progress to restart the business since emerging from Chapter 11 in November,” said Neil Masterson, chief executive of OneWeb, in a statement. “We welcome the investments by SoftBank and Hughes as further proof of progress towards delivering our goal.”

OneWeb said the funding “positions the company to be fully funded for its first-generation satellite fleet,” but the $400 million alone is insufficient to fund the company through full deployment of the constellation, expected to be completed in mid-2022. Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises and executive chairman of OneWeb, said last month he expected OneWeb would need $2.5 billion to complete the constellation, of which about half had been raised. That suggests the company still needs to raise about $1 billion.

Bharti Mittal, though, was optimistic about getting that additional funding. “I don’t see raising capital for this wonderful project for the balance amount to be any issue,” he said, noting that Bharti Enterprises had raised more than $12 billion in the last 18–24 months for other projects.

OneWeb said last month that they expected to perform launches on a roughly monthly schedule to complete the constellation, with enough satellites in orbit by the fall of 2021 to enable service to begin at latitudes above 50 degrees north. Global service would begin in 2022, once the full constellation is in orbit.

OneWeb resumed launches of that constellation, halted by the Chapter 11 filing, Dec. 18, with the deployment of 36 satellites on a Soyuz rocket. The company has not announced a date for its next launch.

In addition to that initial constellation, the company is working on a larger “Phase Two” constellation. In a Jan. 12 filing with the FCC, OneWeb sought to modify its original application by reducing the number of satellites in that Phase Two system from 47,844 to 6,372.


Source: https://spacenews.com/oneweb-raises-400-million/
« Ostatnia zmiana: Marzec 27, 2021, 19:33 wysłana przez Orionid »

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Odp: [SpaceNews] OneWeb’s Big Announcement Should Quiet Doubters
« Odpowiedź #39 dnia: Marzec 26, 2021, 02:48 »
Arianespace launches 36 more OneWeb satellites
by Jason Rainbow — March 25, 2021 [SN]


Arianespace’s fifth Soyuz flight for OneWeb delivered another 36 satellites for its growing constellation. Credit: Arianespace

TAMPA, Fla. — Arianespace successfully launched another 36 satellites for low Earth orbit broadband operator OneWeb March 25, bringing its total in-orbit constellation to 146 satellites.

OneWeb has made contact with each satellite after they separated from a Soyuz-2.1b rocket that blasted off 10:47 p.m. Eastern from Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia’s newest launch base.

It took nearly four hours to dispense the satellites in nine batches from the rocket’s Fregat upper stage.

The mission marks the second launch for OneWeb under its new owners, the British government and Indian telecom company Bharti Global, which bought the venture out of bankruptcy Nov. 20.

It is also the second of five launches OneWeb plans by June to cover north of 50 degrees latitude. That coverage area would span the entire United Kingdom — as well as Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas and Canada.

Chris McLaughlin, OneWeb’s chief of government, regulation and engagement, said the goal is the first bench mark it set with its new shareholders.

“With a prime shareholder in [the British government] this pathway through to approximately June is of particular emotive importance,” McLaughlin told SpaceNews in an interview.

Although commercial service won’t start until late 2021, he said reaching the June launch milestone is important for underlining the rationale behind the acquisition and its value to the British public.

Space is one of the sectors the U.K. has singled out to expand its domestic industrial capabilities following Brexit. McLaughlin said OneWeb will also boost the country’s standing among Five Eyes nations, a multilateral intelligence alliance that includes the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

In a published statement after OneWeb’s March 25 launch, U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This latest launch is yet another boost for OneWeb and their ambitious plans to connect people and businesses across the globe to fast and reliable broadband.

“Our support for OneWeb puts the UK at the forefront of the latest advances in space technology and demonstrates our commitment to grow Britain’s competitive advantage in this field.”

Scaling up

OneWeb is planning a 648-strong constellation, aiming to offer global high-speed, low-latency connectivity services in 2022.

The plan to launch three more batches of satellites before the end of June could be disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which McLaughlin said continues to play havoc with supply chains.

“We believe we’re in good shape, but everyone across the industry is trying to balance the challenges of working as we do at the moment, and the ways in which equipment has to arrive on time and be built in, etc.,” he added.

“But we do have the advantage of … our own dedicated factory in Florida.”

OneWeb Satellites, OneWeb’s joint venture with European aerospace giant Airbus, is building the satellites in the U.S. facility.

Building spacecraft in-house has limited pandemic disruption for U.S.-based rival LEO broadband network Starlink, which has been busy launching through owner SpaceX to amass a constellation of more than 1,300 satellites.

Starlink is reportedly in talks with the U.K. government about providing connectivity in areas that are hard to reach with terrestrial solutions.

The talks come amid a £5 billion ($6.85 billion) “Project Gigabit” government infrastructure program to improve broadband coverage in the country, reported Sky News.

However, McLaughlin said this funding has already gone to U.K. telecom companies, adding that OneWeb has also had numerous conversations with government officials.

“OneWeb’s differentiator is that we are not seeking to sell individual dishes to individual people around the globe to disintermediate telecom companies,” he said.

“We are seeking to partner with those telecom companies to serve their customers and serve their networks, and provide capacity that enables them to best decide how to deploy.”

OneWeb raised $400 million by selling equity Jan. 15, bringing the LEO broadband provider’s total funding to $1.4 billion.

SoftBank, which was OneWeb’s largest shareholder before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2020, provided $350 million. The remaining $50 million came from Hughes Network Systems, which is also a returning shareholder.

McLaughlin said OneWeb is “extremely confident” of securing about $800 million in extra funding over this year to reach its funding goal of around $2 billion.

Gaining momentum

South Korean terminal maker Intellian is on track to deliver OneWeb’s first dual parabolic dishes in May, McLaughlin said, while a single parabolic antenna solution remains under development. These are large products, designed for applications including connecting whole villages and government sites.

More compact antennas are on the way, and McLaughlin hinted OneWeb would soon make announcements about them. The operator announced March 19 an agreement with Israel antenna maker SatixFy to develop a terminal that would fit on aircraft.

Intellian initially partnered with OneWeb in 2019 to build terminals, but OneWeb’s collapse into bankruptcy just as COVID-19 tightened its grip on industry disrupted the work.

“We shall not put too fine a point on it, we were delayed nine to 10 months,” McLaughlin said.

He added: “The terminal momentum is building back, the customer momentum is building back, but obviously you expect a degree of hesitancy after what happened last year.”


Source: https://spacenews.com/arianespace-launches-36-more-oneweb-satellites/

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Odp: [SpaceNews] SpaceX and OneWeb spar over satellite close approach
« Odpowiedź #40 dnia: Kwiecień 27, 2021, 07:33 »
SpaceX and OneWeb spar over satellite close approach
by Jeff Foust — April 22, 2021

ORLANDO — An alleged close approach between satellites from OneWeb and SpaceX led to a meeting between the companies and the Federal Communications Commission, but the companies don’t completely agree on what resulted from that discussion.

Source: https://spacenews.com/spacex-and-oneweb-spar-over-satellite-close-approach/

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Odp: [SpaceNews] OneWeb’s Big Announcement Should Quiet Doubters
« Odpowiedź #41 dnia: Kwiecień 27, 2021, 07:34 »
OneWeb adds 36 satellites to broadband constellation as deployment accelerates
by Jason Rainbow — April 25, 2021


A still taken from OneWeb's live feed March 25, showing a successful lift-off of a Soyuz rocket carrying another batch of broadband satellites. Credit: OneWeb

TAMPA, Fla. — OneWeb’s growing low Earth orbit broadband constellation is set to reach 182 satellites, after Arianespace launched its latest batch of 36 spacecraft April 25.

Arianespace launched the satellites with a Soyuz-2.1b rocket that blasted off 6:14 p.m. Eastern from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia, putting them into a near-polar orbit at an altitude of 450 kilometers.

The satellites will raise themselves to operational orbit at an altitude of 1,200 kilometers, following nine separation sequences over a period of about four hours from lift-off.

One of the satellites from OneWeb’s previous batch of 36, which Arianespace launched March 25, allegedly could have come too close to a Starlink broadband spacecraft operated by SpaceX while making a similar journey.

OneWeb-0178’s course was adjusted after projected to come close to the Starlink-1546 satellite launched in September 2020, although the exact circumstances around the issue are unclear.

Arianespace’s latest launch for OneWeb pushes the broadband startup closer to an interim goal to expand coverage to north of 50 degrees latitude by June.

That coverage goal, which requires launching two more batches of 36 satellites, would enable OneWeb to provide services across the entire United Kingdom before the end of this year — an important milestone for a company recently sold to the British government and Indian telecom company Bharti Global.

It would also enable OneWeb to cover Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas and Canada.

OneWeb ultimately plans a 650-strong constellation to deliver global high-speed, low-latency broadband services to enterprise, government, maritime and aviation customers from 2022.

Megaconstellation competition

SpaceX is estimated to have more than 1,300 Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit, as it launches them in batches of 60 for consumer broadband services currently in beta tests.

The U.S.-based company is asking for regulatory approval to expand its constellation as it reaches its limit at lower altitudes.

Under U.S. Federal Communications Commission rules, SpaceX can operate up to 1,548 satellites in orbits at altitudes around 550 kilometers.

It has regulatory approval for an additional 2,825 satellites at 1,100-1,300 kilometers, but requests permission to bring those down to 550 kilometers to improve latency.

Meanwhile, Amazon April 19 ordered nine Atlas 5 rockets from United Launch Alliance for its rival Project Kuiper broadband constellation in LEO.

The U.S. company did not disclose a time frame for these missions, although it must deploy half its 3,236-strong constellation by 2026 under its FCC license.

Canadian satellite fleet operator Telesat, which expects to start deploying its Lightspeed LEO constellation next year, has not yet finalized launch contracts.

Helping differentiate OneWeb’s constellation are plans to add some kind of navigational capability to its satellites, giving the British government a domestic capability following Brexit.

Neil Masterson, OneWeb’s CEO, said April 7 the company aims to have a demo capability available this year.

OneWeb launched an innovation challenge April 23 that is open to businesses as well as academic and research-based entities to help find technologies, products and solutions that advance space-based connectivity.

Proposals are due before May 17 and awards will be announced June 21.

Catherine Mealing-Jones, director of growth for the U.K. Space Agency, said: “As space offers increasingly diverse possibilities for scientific and commercial progress, this campaign is a great way to generate new ideas and invite more individuals and businesses to be a part of our growing industry.”


 *Update April 26*

OneWeb has confirmed signal acquisition on all 36 satellites, following successful separation sequences.

Source: https://spacenews.com/oneweb-adds-36-satellites-to-broadband-constellation-as-deployment-accelerates/

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Odp: [SpaceNews] Eutelsat buys a quarter of OneWeb to get a LEO
« Odpowiedź #42 dnia: Kwiecień 28, 2021, 14:22 »
Eutelsat buys a quarter of OneWeb to get a LEO broadband growth engine
by Jason Rainbow — April 27, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — French satellite operator Eutelsat is paying $550 million to buy part of OneWeb, the startup deploying a broadband network in low Earth orbit.

The company is buying a 24% stake to give it similar governance rights to the British government and Indian telecom company Bharti Global, which bought OneWeb out of bankruptcy last year.

Part of the investment will be funded by the $507 million that Eutelsat is getting from clearing C-band spectrum in the U.S. for terrestrial 5G networks.

Source: https://spacenews.com/eutelsat-buys-a-quarter-of-oneweb-to-get-a-leo-broadband-growth-engine/

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Odp: Artykuły o OneWeb
« Odpowiedź #43 dnia: Maj 29, 2021, 02:02 »
OneWeb constellation to cross 200th mark after successful launch
by Jason Rainbow — May 28, 2021 [SN]


A Soyuz rocket carries 36 satellites in OneWeb's seventh launch mission. Credit: Roscosmos, Space Center Vostochny, TsENKI

TAMPA, Fla. — OneWeb’s broadband constellation is set to pass the 200th mark after Arianespace successfully launched its latest batch of satellites May 28.

Arianespace launched 36 satellites on a Soyuz-2.1b rocket 1:38 p.m. Eastern from the Vostochny Cosmodrome, in Russia, which will enlarge OneWeb’s fleet to 218 satellites.

The mission was initially scheduled for May 27, but Arianespace delayed it to replace “one item of electrical equipment on the Soyuz launcher” at the launch site, adding that the rocket and satellites were in a stable and safe condition.

Source: https://spacenews.com/oneweb-constellation-to-cross-200th-mark-after-successful-launch/

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Odp: Artykuły o OneWeb
« Odpowiedź #44 dnia: Lipiec 02, 2021, 08:35 »
OneWeb hits coverage goal with latest launch, sets sights on southern regions
by Jason Rainbow — July 1, 2021 [SN]


Arianespace's eighth launch for OneWeb expands its constellation to 254 satellites. Credit: Roscosmos, Space Center Vostochny, TsENKI

expands TAMPA, Fla. — OneWeb is shifting focus to the southern hemisphere after completing coverage north of 50 degrees latitude, following the launch of its latest batch of broadband satellites July 1.

Arianespace launched 36 satellites at 8:48 a.m. Eastern in its eighth mission for the low-Earth-orbit startup, increasing the size of its constellation to 254 spacecraft.

Source: https://spacenews.com/oneweb-hits-coverage-goal-with-latest-launch-sets-sights-on-southern-regions/

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Odp: Artykuły o OneWeb
« Odpowiedź #44 dnia: Lipiec 02, 2021, 08:35 »