SpaceX launches competitor’s Internet satellites into orbit

(ORDO NEWS) — SpaceX launched Internet satellites of its rival OneWeb on Thursday. The Falcon rocket lifted off at sunset with 40 mini satellites.

They will expand the OneWeb constellation to just over 500 units, nearly 80% of the planned total of approximately 630 satellites.

SpaceX has more than 3,200 Starlink satellites in orbit, providing high-speed broadband Internet access to far-flung corners of the world. Amazon plans to launch the first of its internet satellites early next year from Cape Canaveral.

According to Massimilian Ladovaz, CTO of OneWeb, the global internet services market is “growing exponentially” so there is room for everyone.

India seized the opportunity in October by sending a batch of company satellites into orbit.

Two more SpaceX launches and another launch by India of OneWeb satellites are scheduled in the next few months. The company is set to complete the constellation by spring.

OneWeb already provides internet services in Alaska, Canada and Northern Europe.

According to Ladovaz, the new satellites will increase their range throughout the United States and Europe, as well as large parts of Africa and South America and elsewhere.

The OneWeb satellites – each about the size of a washing machine and weighing 150 kilograms – are being built at NASA‘s Kennedy Space Center in partnership with France‘s Airbus.

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