Airbus to build 900 satellites for OneWeb to beam Internet from space

image

These satellites will be launched into orbit around Earth beginning in 2018 (Representational Image)

Europe’s Airbus Group will design and build about 900 satellites for privately owned OneWeb Ltd, which plans to offer high-speed, space-based Internet access to billions of people worldwide, company officials said on Monday. About 700 of the satellites, each of which will weigh less than 330 pounds (150 kg), will be launched into orbit around Earth beginning in 2018. The rest will stay on the ground until replacements are needed, said OneWeb, based in Britain’s Channel Islands.

Bankrolled in part by Richard Branson’s London-based Virgin Group and chipmaker Qualcomm Inc, the project will cost between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, OneWeb founder and Chief Executive Officer Greg Wyler said. Airbus Defense and Space will build the first 10 spacecraft at its Toulouse, France, facility, before shifting production to an undisclosed site in the United States, Airbus said.

Several other companies were vying for the spacecraft contract, including Thales Alenia Space, Space Systems/Loral, Lockheed Martin Corp’s Space Systems and OHB of Germany, the industry trade journal Aviation Week and Space Technology reported. Some of OneWeb’s satellites will be flown by Branson’s space company, Virgin Galactic, which is developing a low-cost, small satellite launcher as well as a suborbital passenger spaceship.

Wyler declined to disclose how much Virgin and Qualcomm are investing in the project. As part of the deal, unveiled in January, Branson and Qualcomm Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs joined OneWeb’s board of directors. Before starting OneWeb, Wyler co-founded satellite venture, O3b Networks, and briefly worked at Google Inc on another project to beam Internet access from space. Wyler left Google in 2014 to work on his own satellite project, named WorldVu, which later became OneWeb.

Google, along with Fidelity, has since made a $1 billion investment in another Internet-via-satellite project being developed by California-based Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX.

DH

Advertisements

About lankapage

We are an online publication (Educational Purpose Blog) made up largely of what we call “disintermediated” news – that is news without a spin put on it by a journalist, published as it’s delivered to Lankapage. All copyrights belong to their respective owners. Images and text owned by other copyright holders are used here under the guidelines of the Fair Use provisions of United States Copyright Law. Images and text are used here only for the education purpose and are not intended to generate income for the blog, its employees, or its students. That makes us unique. All content is delivered to you as the writer or producer intended — leaving only you to make judgments about what you read or watch, not us.

Posted on June 16, 2015, in Sri Lanka. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Airbus to build 900 satellites for OneWeb to beam Internet from space.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: