Arianespace Chief Says Soyuz Launches Foster Partnership With Russia

Arianespace Chief Says Soyuz Launches Foster Partnership With Russia

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 20th March, 2021) Stephane Israel, the CEO of the Paris-based European aerospace company Arianespace, said on Saturday that launches using Russia's Soyuz carrier rockets greatly contributed to space cooperation.

"Soyuz [provides] very good partnership with Russia. We conduct launches with the Russian carrier rockets from [French] Guiana as well as from Russia. Next week we will carry out another launch," Israel told the France Inter radio broadcaster.

A Soyuz launch vehicle is expected to take 36 OneWeb satellites to orbit on March 25.

The contract between Arianespace and OneWeb for 21 launches using Soyuz carrier rockets from the Baikonur, Vostochny and Kuru spaceports was signed in June 2015.

In September 2020, OneWeb announced that the number of scheduled Soyuz launches had been reduced to 19. Four have already been completed: two from Baikonur, one from Vostochny, and one from Kuru, A total of 110 satellites were launched into orbit.

OneWeb is set to start providing commercial satellite communications services in late 2021 and to deploy a 648-satellite constellation by the end of 2022. This will ensure broadband internet access to users from around the globe, thanks to full coverage of the Earth's surface.