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SpaceX Rocket Successfully Lands With 40 OneWeb Satellites In Orbit

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SpaceX Rocket Successfully Lands With 40 OneWeb Satellites In Orbit

(CTN NEWS) – After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine thwarted OneWeb’s launch preparations, SpaceX launched many OneWeb internet satellites into orbit on a mission supporting a mega constellation competitor on Thursday evening (Dec. 8).

The 40 OneWeb satellites were launched into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday at 5:27 p.m. EST (22:27 GMT) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage separated and descended to Earth before landing precisely on a SpaceX pad at the nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, as seen by cameras on the ground.

 

During the live launch commentary that followed the landing, SpaceX propulsion engineer Youmei Zhou noted, “We did just get back confirmation of a nominal orbital insertion.”

According to a SpaceX mission description, the Falcon 9 first-stage landing marked SpaceX’s 145th successful rocket recovery and the fourth launch and landing for this specific booster.

SpaceX Rocket Successfully Lands With 40 OneWeb Satellites In Orbit

Previously, it launched one batch of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites, Eutelsat’s Hotbird 13F spacecraft, and a SpaceX Dragon supply mission to the International Space Station for NASA in December 2021.

In the meantime, the OneWeb satellites were still being launched into orbit by the Falcon 9’s upper stage.

The spacecraft will be launched by the Falcon 9 in three relatively equal stages, starting 58 minutes after launch and finishing 30 minutes later.

“We have launched! In Florida, our 40 satellites have already launched. ” “Thanks to our colleagues at @SpaceX for a successful lift-off.”

https://twitter.com/OneWeb/status/1600982882461552640

In low Earth orbit, OneWeb is constructing a 648-satellite broadband constellation that will compete in certain ways with SpaceX’s Starlink.

More than 460 OneWeb satellites have been launched into orbit, the vast majority atop Soyuz rockets made in Russia and run by the French company Arianespace.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, that arrangement broke down, delaying OneWeb’s launch. The business filled it quickly by signing agreements with SpaceX and New Space India Limited (MSIL).

The first launch under the NSIL agreement occurred on October 21 when 36 OneWeb spacecraft were successfully launched by an Indian GSLV Mark III rocket. The first OneWeb mission by SpaceX was carried out on Thursday.

Thursday’s launch was originally planned for Tuesday (Dec. 6), but SpaceX postponed it to run more inspections, as Elon Musk’s business recently did with several of its Falcon 9 rockets.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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