OneWeb Turns to SpaceX as its Satellites Launch Provider3rd May 2022
The Defence Committee has issued a complaint as to OneWeb’s choice for changing satellites launch providers. The company was contracted with Arianespace, using Russian-built Soyuz rockets, as its launch operator, but in light of recent events, turned its eye to SpaceX. The House of Commons had a comment on this decision.
Defence Committee on OneWeb Satellites Launch Provider Choice
The Defence Committee has a role in examining government action and has expressed its concern about OneWeb using a foreign launch provider. The MPs agree that the UK should have a local satellites launch capability, which is currently underway. However, according to the Department for Business, the government is in no position to tell OneWeb which satellites launch operator to contact — even though the government does have a 19% stake in OneWeb.
The Benefits of Local Satellites Launch Capability
The MPs state that the government should have a local launch plan that would accommodate satellites. This would reduce the UK’s dependence on Russia and the USA and address plenty of the post-Soyuz problems. At the same time, parliamentary under-secretary George Freeman recognises the fact that the UK’s spaceport plans accommodate smaller rockets and would be quite expensive considering the cost of sending one satellite to space.
BEIS director for space Rebecca Evernden confirms this statement, adding that the spaceports currently proposed in Scotland will be able to send no more than six spacecraft per launch. So, it looks that OneWeb satellites launch providers choice makes sense so far.