Soyuz 2.1b/OneWeb 12 Launch

At 13:10 UTC on 2021-12-27 a Soyuz 2.1b launcher operated by Arianespace launched 36 OneWeb Internet communication satellites into a 450 km orbit with an inclination of 87.4°. The satellites will eventually raise their orbits to the operational altitude of 1200 km. This launch brings the total number of OneWeb satellites launched to 394. The full constellation is planned to be 648 satellites: 600 in service and 48 on orbit spares. In May of 2020, OneWeb submitted an application for a second generation network with 48,000 satellites which will also provide global navigation services. Here is the pre-launch preview from Everyday Astronaut.

I have cued the replay to start around one minute before launch. Russians do not count down. The commentary is in Russian, and the imagery of the engine plumes in the night launch is gorgeous.

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