A Soyuz rocket will carry 34 more broadband satellites for OneWeb to space, and you can watch the launch live.
Arianespace‘s first mission of the year will launch Soyuz Flight VS27 from French Guiana at 1:09 p.m. EST (3:09 p.m. local time, or 1809 GMT) on Thursday (Feb. 10).
“The total duration of the mission will be 3 hours and 33 minutes and will include nine satellite separations, after which the satellites will subsequently raise themselves to their operational orbit,” Arianespace said in a statement.
The new broadband satellites for OneWeb are meant to target sectors including aviation, maritime, backhaul, governments and emergency response services, Arianespace added.
This launch, OneWeb’s 13th, is dedicated to making sure the set of satellites do not “harm this new frontier in connectivity for the generations to come, as we develop it for the benefit of everyone,” OneWeb said in a separate statement about the launch.
OneWeb also published a set of practices they aim to follow concerning aspects of what they deem “responsible space” management, including aspects such as satellite design and orbital debris. Current or planned satellite constellations such as OneWeb’s, including companies like SpaceX and Amazon, often come under criticism for their effects on generating space debris and interfering with astronomical observations.
Recently, the International Astronomical Union launched a new center to fight what they see is a threat of satellite megaconstellations. The constellations, however, also provide benefits to remote areas that have little traditional access to the Internet.