Despite the on-going pandemic, a Soyuz rocket, alongside with 34 additional satellites, was launched into space on Saturday from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The firm that financed this initiative, OneWeb, will probably ask for bankruptcy protection. However, OneWeb denies these rumors, claiming that their primary focus was the launch.
The network aims to guarantee access to the Internet at Northern latitudes, first regionally and after that globally. The complex was planned to reach roughly 650 satellites facilitating the opportunity to use the Internet.
Ona larger scale, OneWeb is currently in competition with other Internet providers that envisage supplying people with the same facilities. As a concrete example, Elon Musk is working on Starlink, while Jeff Bezos’ prototype is called Kuiper.
OneWeb Internet Satellites and the COVID-19 Outbreak
The total expenses for this project reach enormous sums: OneWeb has already raised 2.6bn GBP and is still in need of more funds. The European Rocket Operator is financing the launch campaign. Most of the flights are supposed to happen from Baikonur, while some will be carried out from Vostochny Cosmodrome from Russia.
In the most likely scenario, OneWeb’s initiative will be fully completed by the end of 2021. Nevertheless, the coronavirus pandemic might affect the plan, since companies are receiving restrictions regarding the handling of equipment and the safety of personnel.
The CEO of OneWeb, Adrian Steckel, has a positive view of the future of his company. He states that after the COVID-19 outbreak, more and more people are demanded to work from home to limit the social contact. Therefore, the world needs high-speed Internet access to continue being even more than before.
At this time, Internet access is the core of getting a proper education, going to work to earn money, being informed about what is happening in the world, and even keeping in touch with the loved ones. OneWeb’s purpose is to make sure that all of these basic human needs are going to be fulfilled.