Satellite mega-constellation production begins

European aerospace Airbus has begun the production of a satellite mega-constellation aimed at providing broadband links everywhere.

© OneWeb

The aerospace giant is partnering with OneWeb to produce a network of at least 600 spacecrafts for the first time which might increase to 2,000 in the future.

Even though he admitted that initially he thought the whole OneWeb concept was a fantasy, Tom Enders, the boss of Airbus told BBC News: “Everything in space as you know traditionally has been ‘gold-plated’; it had to work perfectly, [and have] the most expensive materials, etc.”

“Here, we’ve had to go other ways, to be really commercial and calculating according to the target cost because that is very decisive in the whole business case for OneWeb,” he added.

Inaugurating the first assembly line in Toulouse, France, the project intends to make sure that every school in the world will have a connection. The first 10 satellites to come off this assembly line have a deadline to launch by April next year.

According to the BBC, the establishment of the OneWeb constellation will require the greatest rocket campaign in the history of spaceflight.

“A lot of our revenues are going to flow through the UK. So, from an economic perspective, it is going to be very important for the UK,” said OneWeb CEO Eric Béranger.

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