Launching at 2142 GMT, 6 February 2020, a Soyuz 2-1B rocket has carried 34 OneWeb satellites to LEO. The launch which, lifted-off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, was part of the launch contract signed between OneWeb and Arianespace. This mission utilising one of the Kazakh or Russian spaceports was managed by joint Starsem – a company joint European-Russian company through which commercial Soyuz rockets are purchased.
It took until 1 hour, 12 minutes, after lift-off before the first two OneWeb satellites were deployed from the Fregat-M Upper-stage. The satellites were then deployed in groups of four until the last deployment which occurred 3 hours, 45 minutes in to the mission. Following completion of the satellite deployments the Fregat-M will fire its thrusters in order to de-orbit itself at close to six hours following launch.
This is the second mission in service of the OneWeb constellation bringing the total number of in-orbit satellites to 40. These satellites, in contrast to the six launched previously, were manufactured in the OneWeb Satellites factory located in Florida, USA.
The next OneWeb mission, is planned for sometime in March.