The launch of the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage and 36 OneWeb spacecraft as part of mission 47 was postponed to a backup date. This is for technical reasons.
“Currently, the space rocket remains in a pre-launch state. The start time will be announced additionally, ”the state corporation's website says.
It was planned to launch Soyuz-2.1b from the Vostochny cosmodrome on May 27 at 20:43 Moscow time. It was assumed that about nine minutes after the start, the head part – the upper stage and satellites – would separate from the third stage. Then the “Fregat” was to put the vehicles into the target orbit. The satellites were supposed to separate in several stages.
The OneWeb project envisages the creation of a network of 882 small spacecraft in orbit, which should provide high-speed Internet access around the world. Over the years, the company has raised $ 3.4 billion in investments, including from Airbus, Bharti, Coca-Cola, Virgin Group, Qualcomm and SoftBank. But due to financial problems, OneWeb filed for bankruptcy in March 2020. In July, it became known about the transition of the company under the control of the British government and the Indian telecommunications company Bharti Global. Because of this, the British operator withdrew from the joint venture with a subsidiary of Roscosmos.