Russian rocket launches UK telecom satellites after delay

The space agency announced Friday in the Russian Far East that a Russian Soyuz rocket was carrying 36 UK telecoms satellites from the Vostochny cosmodrome.

The Soyuz rocket blasted launched at 1738 GMT during the launch conducted by Arianespace, a leading worldwide satellite launch firm.

Dmitry Rogozin, president of the space agency Roscosmos, stated on messaging app Telegram. "The launch followed the plan."

The launch was initially planned for Thursday, but for technical reasons, it was postponed.

OneWeb, a London-based startup, is building a constellation of low-earth-orbit satellites to provide improved internet and other services to countries worldwide.

The startup is fighting for the world's remote areas to provide quick internet through satellite to billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

The United Kingdom is planning to operate its global commercial internet service with around 650 satellites by next year.

In April and March, there were earlier launches of 36 satellites.

"Pre-assembled satellites come in containers from Florida. Our crew will take you back to Russia and accompany you from the airport to the launch "Jean-Claude Garreau, Arianespace campaign manager, said to AFP.

The satellites are then started in groups of 36, and after they are in orbit, they are split into groups of four.

Arianespace is committed to launching 16 Soyuz launches between December 2020 and the end of 2022 and has worked with Russia for over two decades.

The Vostochny launch facility is one of the largest space projects in Russia to lessen dependency on Kazakhstan's currently rented Baikonur cosmodrome in Moscow.

The building of the project was consistently backward, with several controversies, including corruption, being ripped by its construction for years.
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