The state-run UK telecommunications company OneWeb has been launching communications satellites to provide high-speed internet to the UK, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, most of the Arctic Sea, and Canada by 2022.
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, has published a video on his Twitter page of a Russian Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with 36 British OneWeb communications satellites blasting off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East.
The launch took place at around 1:14 a.m. Moscow time on Monday (22:14 GMT on Sunday).
Rogozin tweeted that the footage includes “blastoff frames” and “unusual shooting angles of the launch, including those made with the help of quadcopters”.
This came after the Roscosmos chief confirmed the Fregat booster had successfully put all 36 OneWeb satellites into their designated orbit, fully completing the mission launched using the Russian Soyuz-2.1b rocket. According to Rogozin, “all of the satellites have separated”.
The OneWeb mission was dedicated to Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. He made his pioneering flight on 12 April 1961.
This week is the 60th Anniversary of the Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first orbit of the earth 👨🚀 🚀 We’re commemorating this achievement by revealing that we’re marking our 6th Launch with Yuri Gagarin on the mission patch.#OneWeb #OneWebLaunch #satcom pic.twitter.com/7iKK0wmBZQ
— OneWeb (@OneWeb) April 13, 2021
Earlier this month, a space industry source said the next launches of OneWeb communications satellites on board a Russian Soyuz-2.1b rocket were planned for 27 May and 1 July 2021. The first such launch this year was successfully conducted in March.