Forty OneWeb satellites mounted on a dispenser before encapsulation inside a SpaceX payload fairing Credit: OneWeb

Forty OneWeb satellites mounted on a dispenser before encapsulation inside a SpaceX payload fairing on a Falcon 9 rocket that was launched on December 8th 2022.

The mission was the first of three dedicated Falcon 9 launches that satellite operator OneWeb booked in March 2022, shortly after an agreement with launch operator Arianespace to complete its constellation with Russian Soyuz rockets. Launches with the Soyuz rockets were suspended amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The Forty OneWeb satellites will take about 100 days for OneWeb’s latest batch of satellites to reach their final LEO destinations and to begin services.

OneWeb satellite operator is a global communications company formerly known as WorldVu Satellites, Ltd. The company was formed by Greg Wyler and was originally a planned satellite constellation consisting of 648 microsatellites to provide worldwide Internet access for on individual consumers and airlines.

OneWeb’s mission was to enable affordable Internet access for everyone, connect every school on Earth and bridge the digital divide by 2027. OneWeb is building a communications network with a constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, operating at 750 miles (1,200km) altitude, that will provide connectivity to billions of people around the world.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) is a US based aerospace manufacturer and space transportation company headquartered in Hawthorne, California USA. SpaceX has developed several launch vehicles, the Starlink satellite constellation, the Dragon cargo spacecraft, and flown humans to the International Space Station on the Crew Dragon Demo-2.

Former PayPal entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk founded the company in 2002 with the goal of creating the technologies to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.

SpaceX developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, both of which were designed from conception to eventually become reusable, and the Dragon spacecraft, which is flown into orbit by the Falcon 9 launch vehicle to supply the International Space Station (ISS) with cargo.