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Hanwha-invested OneWeb’s internet satellites launched into orbit

The satellites are emblazoned with Korea’s national flag in a show of respect for Hanwha’s OneWeb investment

By Oct 15, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

OneWeb's internet satellites
OneWeb's internet satellites

A Soyuz rocket has launched 36 new internet satellites operated by London-based OneWeb, in which South Korea’s Hanwha Systems Co. has a stake, into orbit, enlarging OneWeb’s broadband constellation beyond its halfway mark.

The OneWeb satellites on Thursday soared into space atop the Russian-built rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia.

With the latest launch, OneWeb now has 358 communications satellites in low-earth orbit.

The multinational global communications company aims to deploy a total of 648 satellites by the end of 2022 to offer broadband services across the globe.

OneWeb plans to start providing such service to northern regions of the planet by the end of this year.

In August, Hanwha Systems, the defense and air mobility unit of Hanwha Group, said it is acquiring an 8.8% stake in the UK satellite communications firm for $300 million to expand its presence in the growing commercial space market.

With the investment, Hanwha will also have a seat on OneWeb’s board.

OneWeb's internet satellites blast off into space
OneWeb's internet satellites blast off into space

Hanwha said on Friday the newly launched OneWeb satellites carry Korea’s national flag on their surface in a show of respect for Hanwha’s investment in OneWeb.

Last year, OneWeb was rescued from bankruptcy by the UK government and Indian telecom company Bharti Global with a joint $1 billion bailout.

Bharti is OneWeb’s largest shareholder with a 38.6% stake. Other shareholders include Japan’s internet giant SoftBank, US antenna maker Hughes Network Systems and French satellite operator Eutelsat.

Write to Kyung-Min Kang at Kkm1026@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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