As part of the OneWeb project, Arianespace’s Franco-Russian subsidiary Starsem has just achieved a commercial rocket launch from Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia, 22 years after Clemessy first worked on Baïkonur (Kazakhstan). Clemessy has been committed to the OneWeb Constellation project since its first deployment in 2019 in Kourou (French Guiana) then in Baikonur in early 2020, and took part in this new launch under the terms of our technical assistance contract.
This contract was signed the day before the first lockdown on 16 March 2020 but could not be completed in March as initially scheduled owing to the international health situation. OneWeb having filed for bankruptcy on 27 March, the project was even adjourned for a while, before being relaunched in September by the United Kingdom with Indian company Barthi Global Limited, for a billion dollars. After this new start, the various stakeholders met in Vostochny last October to put into action the fourth OneWeb Constellation launch (the first from the new Russian cosmodrome in Vostochny).
“On 18 December 2020, the Soyuz Flight ST29 delivered 36 telecommunications satellites into low earth orbit, to provide people with global high-speed broadband Internet access. Clemessy took part in the launch by sending an employee to Vostochny, to carry out electromechanical and electrotechnical assistance on the facilities involved in this new campaign. To paraphrase Neil Armstrong, I would say that this employee’s presence in Vostochny is a small step for OneWeb but a giant leap for Clemessy!” said Clemessy project manager Arnaud Charpentier.
This satellite launch on the Soyuz rocket followed three previous OneWeb Constellation campaigns which had delivered 74 satellites into orbit (out of the global project’s 648 satellites) bringing the total number of OneWeb satellites in orbit to 110. Other Soyuz launches are scheduled from Vostochny between March and June 2021 and in the first half of 2022. In total, Starsem & Arianespace are to undertake 15 launches for OneWeb Constellation from Vostochny, Baikonur and Kourou. As with the previous launches, Clemessy will be involved in operational support on future campaigns.
© Roscosmos and Space Center « Vostochny », TsENKI