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On 25 June 2015, in London, OneWeb Ltd. (Jersy, UK) and Arianespace (Évry, France) announced the signing of the contract for twenty-one (21) Soyuz rocket launches of the OneWeb communication satellite constellation in 2017-2019.

The target payload is small satellites weighting less than 150 kilograms with Ku-band phased emitting array. The contract provides for injecting 672 spacecraft of the constellation into the near polar orbit at an altitude of 1200 kilometers as part of complex upper composite weighting about 5.5 tons per each launch. The spacecraft for demonstration launch scheduled for the turn 2017 will be manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse and the rest by OneWeb Ltd. and Airbus Defence and Space.

These plans will require 21 Soyuz rocket launches and at least 15 of them will be from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and the Russian cosmodromes.

In case of the successful project implementation, the contract envisages an option on less than 5 additional Soyuz rocket launches beyond 2020.

Igor Komarov, Head of ROSCOSMOS said this was the greatest contract ever concluded in the history of launch services. He also said the choice of the Soyuz carrier rocket was the evidence of high competitiveness of the Russian rocket and space technology.

The contract conclusion was preceded by signing the Memorandum of Understanding between ROSCOSMOS, Arianespace, TsENKI, NPO Lavochkin, TsSKB-Progress, and Glavcosmos on 15 June 2015 in the Le Bourget Air Show.

ROSCOSMOS Press Service

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