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Home > News > Industry News > Airbus in venture to launch sa.....

Airbus in venture to launch satellites for global internet

  • Author:Ella Cai
  • Release on:2017-06-30
Global internet access using a constellation of satellites orbiting the earth could be the answer to the world’s data traffic needs.

Behind the plan is a joint venture between Airbus of Europe and US comms firm OneWeb. 

The first mini-satellites will be manufactured on the Airbus assembly line in Toulouse and first satellites are set for launch in just over nine months. 

Airbus has an order to build 900 communications satellites for OneWeb’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite fleet. 

Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus, writes: 

“Never before have high quality satellites been produced at such little cost, at such a fast pace and in such high quantities. As such, OneWeb is truly a transformational project – not just for Airbus but for the space industry as a whole.” 

The Toulouse facility will serve to validate the production methods necessary to manufacture high-performance satellites at a scale never achieved before, de-risk any potential issues, and lay the framework for the larger multi-line OneWeb Satellites factory near the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. 

The initial 10 pilot and Toulouse-built satellites, after having undergone a comprehensive set of tests, will become the first of OneWeb’s fleet. 

“We have just about nine months until the first of our fleet launches into orbit,” said Greg Wyler, founder and chairman of OneWeb.
“Then we will begin the world’s largest launch campaign, sending new satellites up every 21 days, and building not just a fleet but a digital bridge to enable affordable broadband access for the billions of unconnected around the world.”