Russian rocket launches UK telecom satellites after delay

By: AFP      Published: 11:26 PM, 28 May, 2021
Russian rocket launches UK telecom satellites after delay

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying 36 UK telecommunication and internet satellites blasted off from the Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia's Far East on Friday, the space agency said.

During the launch, which was carried out by Arianespace, the world's leading satellite launch company, the Soyuz rocket took off at 1738 GMT.

"The launch went according to plan," Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Roscosmos space agency, said on messaging app Telegram.

The launch was originally scheduled for Thursday but was postponed for technical reasons.

OneWeb, a London-headquartered company, is working to complete the construction of a constellation of low earth orbit satellites providing enhanced broadband and other services to countries around the world.

The company is competing against billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in the race to provide fast internet via satellites for the world's remote areas.

The UK company plans for its global commercial internet service to be operational by next year, supported by some 650 satellites.

Earlier launches of 36 satellites each took place in April and March.