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posted by spiraldancing on Tuesday February 04 2020, @09:17PM   Printer-friendly
from the It's-getting-awful-crowded-in-my-sky dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

For the better part of a year, SpaceX has gotten the lion's share of attention when it comes to mega-constellations and satellite Internet.

[...] But it was actually another company, OneWeb, that launched the first six satellites of its mega-constellation back in February, 2019. Initial tests of those satellites went well, the company said last summer. Now OneWeb is preparing for its second launch of 34 satellites on board a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The launch is scheduled for 4:42pm ET (21:42 UTC) on Thursday, February 6.

On the eve of Thursday's launch, Ars spoke with OneWeb Chief Executive Officer Adrián Steckel about the company's plans and how it will compete with half a dozen other firms looking at providing Internet from space.

[...] "Right now, we’re the largest buyer of launch in the world," Steckel said. "In the future, as we look to our next phase of deployment, we're willing to buy rocket launches from SpaceX, Blue Origin, or whoever."

OneWeb has taken a different approach than SpaceX in terms of how it plans to interact with customers on the ground. SpaceX has opted to offer direct-to-consumer services with the intention of selling user terminals to acquire satellite from space and essentially functioning as a new Internet provider. OneWeb plans to partner with existing telecommunications companies, Steckel said.

[...] It's a model the company believes makes sense because the right answer for getting regulatory approval and delivering service in the United States or the Philippines or Indonesia will vary, Steckel said. "We're going to be doing business with partners around the world," Steckel said. "Our style is not confrontational. We're using a different model. It's a big world."

OneWeb plans to offer its first customer demonstrations by the end of 2020 and provide full commercial global services in 2021.

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  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday February 05 2020, @02:46AM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 05 2020, @02:46AM (#954005) Journal

    Until the Kessler cascade.

    Not saying that's not a problem, but is not such a critical one.

    The StarLink are in the low LEO scale of altitudes. Without altitude correction (as the fragments resulted from a collision are supposed to be), they'll end burning in the atmosphere in about 10 years or so.

    Max altitude for SpaceX StarLink - 340 km []

    Hubble telescope [] - perigee altitude: 537.0km. Left alone, it won't last until 2040 [].

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