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Arianespace To Supply Payload Dispenser Systems For OneWeb Constellation

Launch Contract Signed In June Of Last Year For 21 Soyuz Missions

Arianespace has signed a contract with the global satellite internet company OneWeb to design, qualify and supply 21 payload dispensers for the deployment of the OneWeb constellation, along with five more on option.

RUAG Space AB (Linköping, Sweden) will be the prime contractor, in charge of development and production of these dispenser systems. The dispenser systems will first secure the satellites during their flight to low Earth orbit and then release them into space. They are designed to accommodate up to 32 spacecraft per launch, allowing Arianespace to deliver the lion's share of the OneWeb constellation over a period of 18 months, starting in 2018.

Arianespace signed a launch contract in June 2015 with OneWeb, covering 21 Soyuz launches, along with options for five additional Soyuz launches and three Ariane 6 launches.

The OneWeb constellation will make broadband access available to many individuals across the world who have limited or no access today. When fully deployed, OneWeb's system will support a wide variety of important services globally, including cellular backhaul, mobility services, community and residential Internet access, and emergency communications.

Matt O'Connell, OneWeb's CEO, said: "Putting the world's largest satellite constellation into orbit is an enormous task and Arianespace is ideally suited to launch the initial constellation, allowing OneWeb to start providing services to its customers."

Arianespace always strives to offer tailor-made solutions addressing each customer's specific needs," said Stéphane Israël, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace. "By signing this payload dispenser contract with OneWeb and by benefiting from RUAG Space excellency, we can ensure the timely delivery of their constellation to polar orbit. We are very proud of our major role in the development of OneWeb, and we thank our customer for its confidence."

(Image from file. Source: Arianespace news release)

FMI: www.arianespace.com

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