Space exploration has orchestrated different spacecraft designs, with each space launch becoming better than before. Additionally, the space industry’s privatization has given the government sector a run for their money since more innovation, as commercial space travel immerges from the private sector. Despite the positive benefits of space exploration like increased scientific knowledge, more understanding of the universe, and climate monetization, space exploration has its fair share of drawbacks. For example, the launch of Apollo 13 claimed the lives of crew members following a technical hitch. Nevertheless, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
OneWeb is an example of a private space industry based in London and established by Greg Wyler. The company has specialized in launching Low Earth Orbit satellites and currently holds a record of launching 74 LEOs in the Earth’s orbit. Additionally, the company’s initial program was to establish a constellation of approximately 648 satellites. Consequently, the vision of building 648 satellites was after the company was approved to develop a maximum of 2,000 satellites. Moreover, the dream may come to a halt since the company filed for relief.
Funding is a primary challenge in the space industry since building a spacecraft involves high maintenance costs through the tests to its final launch. Therefore, OneWeb filing for a petition comes as no surprise. Conversely, OneWeb has partnered with a rocket firm through a revised contract to resume the initial launch of 648 LEO’s. An amended partnership with Arianespace seeks to rekindle the vision by providing up to 16 launches that will place about 36 satellites in each launch.
The collaboration will launch 110 additional satellites to the OneWeb constellation, hence improving its space scope. On the other hand, following the partnership, OneWeb aims to begin commercial services by 2021 and launch its full potential national constellation by 2022. Countries like Iceland, Canada, Arctic seas, and Alaska will be among the first beneficiaries to access the broadband connection in 2021. Also, OneWeb expected faster broadband speeds than its competitors due to the spacecraft launched to lower altitudes.
For example, an early test conducted in 2019 recorded a speed of 400Mbps, a remarkable speed for a satellite since the former satellites usually are much slower. Airbus Company, a partner with OneWeb, has begun production and set to meet the launch expected next year. OneWeb is currently the only space industry that can compete with SpaceX. However, with the rising number of satellites launched into space, many have raised a concern about space waste.