MOSCOW, September 14. /TASS/. A Russian Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with a Fregat booster and 34 British OneWeb communications satellites has been launched from the Baikonur space center, according to a broadcast on the website of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos.
It will take about 3.5 hours to put the satellites in orbit.
It was the 100th launch of the Fregat booster and the second launch of OneWeb satellites from Baikonur in 2021. The launch is to bring the number of British satellites to 322.
The first six OneWeb satellites were orbited by a Soyuz-ST carrier rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on February 28, 2019. Another 34 satellites were delivered into outer space on February 7, 2020 and the same amount on March 21 from the Baikonur spaceport.
OneWeb satellites were launched from the Vostochny spaceport for the first time in December 2020. A total of 36 space vehicles were put into orbit. Further launches took place from the Vostochny space center on March 25, April 26, May 28, and July 1, 2021, and from Baikonur on August 22, 2021. The next launch is scheduled for October 14 from Vostochny.
OneWeb’s renewed agreement with the French Arianespace that acts as the launch operator stipulates the lift-off of 16 Russian Soyuz carrier rockets from the Kourou, Vostochny and Baikonur spaceports in 2020-2022. Each launch can put between 34-36 OneWeb satellites into orbit.