A meeting of the State Commission took place at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur region. The commission reviewed the readiness of the Soyuz-2.1b rocket with the Fregat upper stage and 36 OneWeb satellites under Mission 49 and approved its launch at 9.40 am Moscow time today, on October 14, 2021, the press service of the Russian space corporation (Roscosmos) reports.
It is noted that in about nine minutes after the launch, the Fregat booster with the satellites separated from the rocket’s upper stage and in the next few hours the process of orbiting the satellites was carried out.
As stated, this was already the sixth fully commercial launch of OneWeb satellites from the Vostochny spaceport, which will increase the OneWeb orbital constellation to 358 satellites. According to the Roscosmos’ Chief, Dmitry Rogozin, the OneWeb first-generation cluster would be established in late 2022-early 2023.
It is reminded that first time OneWeb satellites were launched from the Vostochny spaceport in December 2020. A total of 36 space vehicles were put into orbit at that time. After that, satellites of the company were launched on March 25, April 26, May 28, and July 1, 2021, from the same spaceport and on August 22 and September 14 of this year from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. As specified, the launch programme is being implemented under a contract of Glavkosmos (a subsidiary of Roscosmos) with Arianespace (the launch operator) and Starsem.