Airbus Defence and Space and OneWeb, which plans to operate a new global satellite communications system with a 648 low Earth orbit satellite constellation, announced the creation of a joint firm called OneWeb Satellites to build the spacecraft numbering 900 in total.
The new joint venture is equally owned by Airbus Defence and Space and OneWeb. It will design and build the 900 satellites and will be led by Brian Holz as CEO. While the first ten “prototype” satellites will be built in Europe at Airbus Defence and Space facility in Toulouse, France, the remaining 890 satellites will be built at a specially built facility located in USA.
Each satellite will have a mass less that 150kg. The satellites will be launched in batches from 2018 using Arianespace and Virgin Galactic launch vehicles starting from 2018. The satellites will use electric propulsion for their final positioning and orbital stabilisation.