OneWeb Reports Loss Of $229 Million After Russia Refused To Offer Satellite Launch Service
UK-based communications company OneWeb suffered a total loss of $229.2 million as a result of Russia’s refusal to offer launch services for its satellites.
This loss was revealed in the company’s annual financial report, which came out last month, and listed the reasons for the loss, Space News reported.
“The Group’s operating loss increased by 631% compared to the previous year after the impact of an impairment of $229.2 million”, OneWeb’s official report read.
“The impairment arose from the Russia-Ukraine war resulting in the postponement of a planned launch on 4 March 2022, the associated postponement of subsequent scheduled launches, the loss of satellites not returned to the Group and the impairment of a portion of the Group’s prepaid launch insurance,” read the report.
OneWeb has a launch contract with the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, under which the latter was supposed to launch 36 of the former’s satellites on its Soyuz rockets from the Kazakhstan-based Baikonur cosmodrome. However, under the leadership of now-retired Director General Dmitry Rogozin, Roscosmos announced that it is cutting ties with OneWeb unless the UK government loses its stake in the company. A promise to not use OneWeb satellites for military purposes by the UK was another condition laid out by Russia.
OneWeb, however, refused to accept the terms, which led to the abrupt termination of the contract followed by employees of the company leaving the cosmodrome.
OneWeb taps ISRO and SpaceX for remaining satellite launches
After being snubbed by Roscosmos, OneWeb turned to its rival SpaceX, which has its own constellation of internet satellites, and NewSpace India, ISRO’s (Indian Space Research Organisation) commercial arm, for the launch of the remaining satellites. Starting from the fourth quarter of this year, the launches will be completed by the second quarter of the following year.
We are pleased to confirm that we have entered into an agreement with @NewSpaceIndia, part of the Indian Space Research Organisation (@isro), that will help us to complete our satellite launch programme.
The first launch is anticipated later this year. pic.twitter.com/ljYUZDXlP2— OneWeb (@OneWeb) April 20, 2022
Currently, the company has 428 satellites in orbit, which is 66% of the planned total fleet. Once completed, OneWeb’s constellation will consist of 648 satellites in total. Apart from these two, OneWeb has inked a deal with another US-based company Relativity Space.
In an announcement in early July, the company said that Relativity will provide a fully reusable and entirely 3D printed rocket for future satellite missions.
We are delighted to confirm that we have entered into a multi-launch agreement with @RelativitySpace. Under the agreement, Relativity will launch satellites on Terran R, the first fully reusable and entirely 3D printed rocket �
Find out more online:https://t.co/hMw9U1Kwcw pic.twitter.com/XFeLjQEM7m— OneWeb (@OneWeb) July 6, 2022