Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 22 2022, @05:50PM   Printer-friendly
from the 3,2,1,launch dept.

OneWeb to Restart Internet Satellite Launches Using SpaceX Rockets:

After canceling business with Russia's space program, OneWeb is tapping rival SpaceX to help it launch its remaining internet satellites into orbit.

"We are pleased to announce that we have entered into a launch agreement withSpaceX that will enable OneWeb to resume satellite launches," UK-based OneWeb announced on Twitter today. The first launch of the OneWeb satellites using SpaceX rockets is scheduled for sometime later this year, the company added.

OneWeb previously relied on Russia's Roscosmos to launch the satellites. However, the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions from Europe caused Roscosmos to essentially retaliate by postponing an upcoming launch of OneWeb satellites.

Roscosmos then demanded the UK government divest itself from OneWeb. In response, the company canceled all launches through Russia's space program.

OneWeb's contingency plan of using SpaceX is a little surprising since both companies are competing in the internet satellite market. This has resulted in some bickering amongst each other in government regulatory filings. Last year, for example, OneWeb accused SpaceX's satellite internet system of colliding with its own.

SpaceX wins OneWeb launch contracts, demonstrating extreme flexibility

Demonstrating a level of flexibility that no other commercial launch provider on Earth can likely match, SpaceX and OneWeb have entered into a major launch contract barely three weeks after Russia kicked the satellite internet company off of its Soyuz rockets.

Beginning in early 2020, OneWeb has launched approximately 430 operational small internet satellites – about two-thirds of its first constellation – on a dozen different Russian Soyuz 2.1b and ST-B rockets, including a mission completed as recently as February 10th, 2022. That nominal – albeit slow – deployment ground to a violent halt alongside Russia's second unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, 2022. Within a week, extraordinary Western economic sanctions pushed the unstable head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency to retaliate by both ending the practice of European-owned Soyuz launches and holding OneWeb's 13th operational launch hostage.

Another three weeks later, outside of increasingly tense and reluctant cooperation on the International Space Station, the relationship between Russian and Western spaceflight programs has effectively ceased to exist. That includes all 6-7 of OneWeb's remaining Soyuz launch contracts, each of which the company had already paid more than $50 million for. Though OneWeb technicians were able to escape the increasingly hostile country, Russia effectively repossessed (i.e. stole) OneWeb's remaining rockets and its 13th batch of operational satellites.

That left OneWeb in an unsurprisingly precarious situation. Having already gone bankrupt once, a major delay could be financially catastrophic for the company. Normally, procuring half a dozen near-term launch contracts at the last second would be virtually impossible. Indeed, ignoring a certain US company, no other launch provider on Earth could even theoretically find or build enough capacity to launch the last third of OneWeb's constellation without at least a one or two-year delay. Luckily for OneWeb, SpaceX does exist.

Also at Space News, NYT, The Guardian, Reuters, and The Verge:

Just a few days before the launch was set to take place, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, demanded that Russia would only launch OneWeb's satellites if the company promised that the spacecraft would not be used for military purposes. Rogozin also demanded that the British government divest its entire stake in OneWeb. In 2020, the UK invested roughly $500 million in OneWeb in order to save the company from bankruptcy, and the UK government became a major shareholder along with Indian telecommunications company Bharti Global.

OneWeb and the UK refused to submit to the demands, and the company wound up suspending all further launches of its satellites from Kazakhstan. Roscosmos rolled back the Soyuz rocket carrying the 36 OneWeb satellites from its launchpad, and the satellites have yet to be returned to OneWeb. The company isn't sure what happened to the spacecraft or if they'll ever be returned. "The thing about the satellites is honestly they're the least of our problems," Chris McLaughlin, chief of government, regulatory, and engagement at OneWeb, tells The Verge. "We make two a day in the factory in Florida. So we can find ways to get a resilient solution."

Previously: SpaceX and OneWeb Clash Over Proposed Satellite Constellation Orbits
FCC Approves SpaceX Lowering Orbit of Internet Satellites
SpaceX Approved to Deploy 1 Million U.S. Starlink Terminals; OneWeb Reportedly Considers Bankruptcy
Russia Places Extraordinary Demands on OneWeb Prior to Satellite Launch

Original Submission

Original Submission

Related Stories

SpaceX and OneWeb Clash Over Proposed Satellite Constellation Orbits 6 comments

SpaceX's Starlink satellite lawyers refute latest "flawed" OneWeb critique

After years of relentless legal badgering from internet satellite constellation competitor OneWeb, SpaceX's regulatory and legal affairs team appears to have begun to (in a professional manner) lose patience with the constant barrage.

On February 21st, SpaceX published a withering refutation of OneWeb's latest criticism that offered a range of no-holds-barred counterarguments, painting the competitor – or at least its legal affairs department – as an entity keen on trying to undermine Starlink with FCC-directed critiques based on flawed reasoning, false assumptions, misinterpretations, and more. Alongside a number of memorable one-liners and retorts, legal counselors William Wiltshire and Paul Caritj and SpaceX executives Patricia Cooper and David Goldman openly "wonder whether OneWeb would be satisfied with SpaceX operating at any altitude whatsoever."

In late 2018, SpaceX filed a request with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) that would allow the company to significantly modify parts of its Starlink satellite constellation license, cutting 16 spacecraft from the original total of 4425 and moving Phase 1's now-1584 satellites from an operating altitude of ~1100-1300 km (680-810 mi) to just 550 km (340 mi). Aside from further reducing the latency of communications, SpaceX also argues that "the principal reason" behind lowering the operational altitude of the first ~37% of Starlink satellites was "to [further] enhance the already considerable space safety attributes of [the] constellation."

[...] [There] is a great deal more irony to be found in OneWeb's attempt to block SpaceX from lowering the orbit of its first ~1600 satellites. In 2017 and 2018, the company repeatedly complained to the FCC about the fact that SpaceX's Starlink constellation was to nominally be placed in orbits from ~1100-1300 km, effectively sandwiching OneWeb's own ~1200 km constellation. OneWeb continues to demand an unreasonable level of special treatment from the FCC, hoping that the commission will allow it to establish a sort of buffer zone extending 125 km above and below its own constellation, basically demanding that a huge swath of low Earth orbit be OneWeb's and OneWeb's alone. In reality, this is likely nothing more than a thinly veiled anti-competitive tactic, in which success would almost entirely bar other prospective space-based internet providers from even considering the same orbit.

Starlink and OneWeb satellite constellations.

Related: Competing Communications Constellations Considered
Airbus and OneWeb Begin Building Satellites for Internet Constellation
FCC Authorizes SpaceX to Provide Broadband Satellite Services
U.S. Air Force Awards SpaceX $28.7 Million to Study Military Applications of Starlink
Blue Origin to Provide Multiple Orbital Launches for Telesat
SpaceX Seeks Approval for 1 Million Starlink Ground Stations, Faces Pentagon Audit

Original Submission

FCC Approves SpaceX Lowering Orbit of Internet Satellites 24 comments

The FCC has approved a modification to SpaceX's plan to loft 1,500 low orbit satellites to provide internet service to all parts of the globe.

In November, SpaceX sent a request to the FCC to partially revise plans for the company’s satellite internet constellation, known as Starlink. Under SpaceX’s original agreement with the commission, the company had permission to launch 4,425 Starlink satellites into orbits that ranged between 1,110 to 1,325 kilometers up. But then SpaceX decided it wanted to fly 1,584 of those satellites in different orbits, thanks to what it had learned from its first two test satellites, TinTin A and B. Instead of flying them at 1,150 kilometers, the company now wants to fly them much lower at 550 kilometers.

And now the FCC is on board. “This approval underscores the FCC’s confidence in SpaceX’s plans to deploy its next-generation satellite constellation and connect people around the world with reliable and affordable broadband service,” SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement.

"“This approval underscores the FCC’s confidence in SpaceX’s plans.”"

SpaceX argues that by operating satellites at this orbit, the Starlink constellation will have much lower latency in signal, cutting down transmission time to just 15 milliseconds.

The first batch of satellites is already at the launch site and is expected to liftoff sometime in May. SpaceX plans to launch a total of nearly 12,000 satellites to build its Starlink satellite constellation, although most of these will be in higher orbits.

Not everyone was happy about SpaceX’s updated plans, though. OneWeb, another company developing a large satellite internet network, and satellite operator Kepler Communications both filed petitions to deny SpaceX’s request for a change to the FCC. They both argue that since SpaceX uses similar frequencies, the Starlink satellites could interfere with their satellites if moved to a lower orbit. But ultimately, the FCC did not think interference would be an issue.

There are other companies undertaking similar projects. Previously-mentioned OneWeb has already launched the initial six satellites of an eventual buildout of 650 satellites. Amazon has announced its own internet initiative called Project Kuiper which will put another 3,236 satellites in orbit.

Original Submission

SpaceX Approved to Deploy 1 Million U.S. Starlink Terminals; OneWeb Reportedly Considers Bankruptcy 33 comments

SpaceX gets FCC license for 1 million satellite-broadband user terminals

SpaceX has received government approval to deploy up to 1 million user terminals in the United States for its Starlink satellite-broadband constellation.

SpaceX asked the Federal Communications Commission for the license in February 2019, and the FCC announced its approval in a public notice last week. The FCC approval is for "a blanket license for the operation of up to 1,000,000 fixed earth stations that will communicate with [SpaceX's] non-geostationary orbit satellite system." The license is good for 15 years.

[...] One million terminals would only cover a fraction of US homes, but SpaceX isn't necessarily looking to sign up huge portions of the US population. Musk said at the conference that Starlink will likely serve the "3 or 4 percent hardest-to-reach customers for telcos" and "people who simply have no connectivity right now, or the connectivity is really bad." Starlink won't have lots of customers in big cities like LA "because the bandwidth per cell is simply not high enough," he said.

SpaceX's main Starlink constellation competitor is running out of money

OneWeb, the only pressing competitor facing SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet constellation, has reportedly begun to consider filing for bankruptcy shortly before the London-based company completed its third dedicated launch.

Russia Places Extraordinary Demands on OneWeb Prior to Satellite Launch 21 comments

Russia places extraordinary demands on OneWeb prior to satellite launch:

Russia has taken the extraordinary step of placing multiple demands on OneWeb and its government ownership prior to a planned launch of satellites Friday aboard a Soyuz rocket.

The mission, to loft 34 broadband communications satellites into orbit, was to be the 14th launch of OneWeb satellites. The company presently has 428 satellites in orbit, out of a planned total of 648 for its initial constellation. OneWeb had hoped to begin commercial service around the world later this year.

The vast majority of those satellites have launched on Russian Soyuz rockets, one of the few boosters in the world with spare lift capacity for a megaconstellation at this time. Another six Soyuz launches were scheduled for later this year to complete the OneWeb constellation.

But those plans were thrown into question by Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week. OneWeb, which is jointly owned by the United Kingdom government and an Indian multinational company, has not offered any public comments since the invasion.

Russia is demanding guarantees that OneWeb not be used for military purposes and that the UK sell its share in the company. If you have some spare trampolines and your name doesn't rhyme with Melon Usk, please contact OneWeb ASAP.

Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday March 22 2022, @09:13PM (10 children)

    by Freeman (732) on Tuesday March 22 2022, @09:13PM (#1231281) Journal []

    Good to know they have at least two brain cells to rub together. Not like SLS is an option for anything beyond USA pork barreling. With Russia not being a current viable option and China definitely not being an option. That just leaves SpaceX. Seriously, SpaceX has been knocking them out of the park for quite some time.

    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Tuesday March 22 2022, @09:31PM (7 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday March 22 2022, @09:31PM (#1231283) Journal

      Actually, if you look at this story [], they made it seem like they were considering everybody on the planet.

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22 2022, @10:35PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22 2022, @10:35PM (#1231298)

        Takyon you're on staff right? Don't you think users should be aware of the long term tracking SN does for IPs? How about moderation guidelines, or at the least make the spam mod stats page public minus user info? Or just "fuck off and die"? Let's have some honesty for once.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 23 2022, @12:25AM (2 children)

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 23 2022, @12:25AM (#1231323) Journal

          The IPID for all comments is automatically deleted after about 30 days.

          So on this story here: []

          All of the Feb 19 comments and some of the Feb 20 comments have no IPID at the moment I'm writing this, while the newer ones do.

          The IPIDs for moderations are stored forever as far as I can tell, since I found some all the way back on an August 2014 comment just now, and they are linked to the account that made the moderation.

          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23 2022, @02:54AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23 2022, @02:54AM (#1231342)

            That contradicts Janrinok's statement that some user and a suspected sock puppet were the only two accounts to use a specific IP since "the beginning of time." So someone is lying, and at best AC comment IPs are discarded after two weeks while registered users have their IPs logged forever.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Wednesday March 23 2022, @04:00AM

              by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 23 2022, @04:00AM (#1231351) Journal

              Nope, they are gone from all comments past that ~30 day limit, AC or not.

              It's the moderations. If two or more accounts spend mod points while using the same IPID, they will forever appear grouped together in a neat list when you click that IPID, along with the latest comments (newer than 30 days) made by that IPID. Unless they incidentally used the same VPN or Tor node, the accounts are probably related. Users upmodding their own posts looks really obvious.

              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22 2022, @11:54PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22 2022, @11:54PM (#1231317)

        They did consider everybody on the planet. That's why it took so long for them to accept their fate and call Gwynne for a quote, because they absolutely did not want to pay "the competition" to launch their satellites, especially after all the things they've said and done to try to kneecap SpaceX. The fact is that they are lucky that SpaceX exists or they'd be SOL, but that is one bit of crow they really didn't want to have to eat.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday March 23 2022, @12:28AM (1 child)

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday March 23 2022, @12:28AM (#1231324) Journal

          I was reading Space News comments, and there was speculation that SpaceX required OneWeb to drop objections to Starlink as part of the contract. I'm not sold on that, but it would be funny.

          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23 2022, @07:39AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23 2022, @07:39AM (#1231385)

            It really isn't SpaceX's style and might get them in trouble if they did that, but yes, it would be funny.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23 2022, @12:04AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23 2022, @12:04AM (#1231319)

      What I find really amusing about the whole thing is that SpaceX wouldn't exist if Russia had sold Elon a rocket for his Martian Greenhouse publicity stunt. Instead they spit on him and threw him out, so he used that money to found his own rocket company. Fast forward to today and Russia's attempts to hold the world's launch industry (even the ISS) hostage are reduced to pathetic whining, and Elon is laughing at them all the way to the bank. He can be a real twit sometimes, but it's fun watching him make monkeys out of the old guard.

  • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22 2022, @10:05PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22 2022, @10:05PM (#1231289)

    Actually no, bad news. Soylent News tracks your IP via a hash that allows anyone to rebuild the original IP quite easily. The hashed IP is stored forever. Also the moderation guidelines are out if date and spam modding to temp ban IPs is not being held accountable. Don't worry, not aristarchus janni boy.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22 2022, @10:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22 2022, @10:32PM (#1231297)

      Spam mod? Wow, SN is fully onboard with censorship. TMB called it out, here I thought he was just being a partisan hack but little did we know he knew what remaining staff would do. False flags, preferential treatment, and now attempts to ban any user that shares stuff like the real soylentnews privacy policy.

      For shame SN, way to just ruin the last tattered shreds of reputation. We now return you to boring headlines and content free journals!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23 2022, @03:09AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23 2022, @03:09AM (#1231343)

      So if I grab a hash, how do I turn it back into an IP address?

      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday March 23 2022, @11:28AM

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 23 2022, @11:28AM (#1231408) Journal

        You would have to build a rainbow table containing a hash for every practical IP address (IP4 and IP6, I suppose. I am certainly on IP6 here and to my provider). That would produce a massive amount of data - hundreds of gigabytes by a quick estimation - so you would have to find some way of comparing the hash that you know with the elements of your rainbow table to find a match in some efficient manner.

        But what would that give you? Well it probably wouldn't give you the address of the origin of the hash that you know. It would probably give you a VPN or TOR exit node. So what? There is nothing of any use that you could do with that. That is why all this rubbish about 'tracking' people' via their IP address is just that - rubbish. We couldn't do it even it we wanted to - and we don't. We simply don't care who you are in real life, where you live, or what you do.

        But some people are very, very stupid. They think that they will pick a really obscure VPN - lets say somewhere like a really remote Pacific Island. Then they use that VPN to contact us. How many other people do you think actually use that same VPN to contact this site with its small community of a few thousand active accounts? I can tell you - nobody else. They then create their sock puppets from the same VPN. Well that could just be a coincidence. But then those 2 accounts start moderating each other. Wow, the odds against this are really getting high. And they repeat this for half a dozen or more accounts. The odds are now astronomical. All coming from a unique IP address and 'just by coincidence' all moderating each other on a small site such as ours. And then you watch them get confused about which account they are pretending to be. They all join and leave in similar time frames. They have to give their usernames to moderate and, on looking more closely, you find that they all have multiple similar account characteristics. They were all created within certain time frames. They all write in the same manner. They have email addresses that are in sequence. Yeah, some people are far more stupid that you would ever imagine they could be.

        An analogy... Imagine if you will that you are trying to hide from somebody looking for you. So you go into a packed sports stadium. But, for some bizarre reason, you don't hide in the crowd, but you go and stand in the middle of the pitch. How long would you expect to stay hidden doing that?

        Most people on our site who post as AC use VPNs that are also used by other community members. We cannot tell one from another. If it is coming from a TOR exit node we can have several thousand connections a day from a single IP address. They are all the same account as far as this site is concerned. They all have the same hash. It tells us very little except it allows us to manage stories, comments, moderations in a database so that other people can see what is being said.

        But if somebody thinks they are being smart by being different I have got some bad news for them.

        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.