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Russia: UK must ditch OneWeb stake before next launch begins – IT Pro – News

Russia’s space agency Roskosmos is making more demands for OneWeb’s upcoming launch of Russia’s Soyuz rocket. The launch was recently approved, but now a new requirement has been imposed: the UK must give up its shares in OneWeb.

The current condition It makes it increasingly likely that the launch is in jeopardy, although OneWeb hasn’t said anything about these developments yet. Russian news service writes Tas Roscosmos indicated that the satellites already on the Baikonur Cosmodrome will remain there until the problem is resolved.

A little earlier on Wednesday there was already a former, More requirements† OneWeb must ensure that before 9:30 PM Moscow time the satellites to be launched will not be used for military purposes. If this guarantee does not exist before the specified time, the Soyuz-2.1b launcher will again be removed from the launch pad in Kazakhstan.

writes Tas Roscosmos director Dmitry Rogozin says that his space agency received information last November that OneWeb had begun negotiations with an American company, also reportedly under contract with the Pentagon, to provide information and communications services. In addition, Rogozin also refers to SpaceX, which is believed to have provided such services to the Ukrainian armed forces. He may have been referring to SpaceX’s Starlink constellation. Rogozin says he has serious doubts about how OneWeb will operate in this case where the UK government is the biggest contributor.

Rogozin states that the contract for the upcoming launch has been completed and that payment from OneWeb has already been made in full. He says that money will not be refunded in case of cancellation. “We have already received the funds for the manufacture of rocket launchers, the upper stages of the missiles and the necessary launch services. These funds will remain in Russia as a result of force majeure created by the aggressive policies of the West and sanctions against Russia,” Rogozin said.

Roscosmos indicated on Tuesday Approved by the State Committee of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Concretely, this meant that the Soyuz-2.1b launcher could be rolled out and installed on the launch pad on Wednesday.

OneWeb . gone Bankrupt in May of 2020 After a failed investment round, then more or less bailed out by a billion-dollar investment from Indian telecom Bharti Airtel and the British government. To date, the company has raised billions of euros to create a constellation of Internet satellites. OneWeb since February 428 satellites target 648 in orbit around the earth.

All OneWeb launches to date have been carried out using Russian Soyuz launchers. Not all of them were launched from Kazakhstan. Also from Kourou in French Guiana, Soyuz rockets were launched by France’s Arianespace to launch OneWeb satellites into low Earth orbit. A few days ago Roscosmos already decided To end this cooperation