OneWeb: Russian space agency refuses to launch internet satellites, citing UK sanctions

OneWeb, a London-based satellite launch company working for global Internet connectivity, and Elon Musk’s main competitor to the StarLink satellite network, will launch a set of 36 Internet satellites on Friday as part of its plan for a 648-satellite package. But those plans are now in jeopardy because Russia’s space agency Roscosmos seems to be blocking the effort.

The Russian-built Soyuz rocket, powered by France’s Arianespace SA, was intended to launch satellites into low – Earth orbit from the Russian – owned Pygmon Cosmotrome in Kazakhstan. OneWeb and Russia have signed a multi-year agreement to launch a satellite, with the company launching its satellites exclusively on Russia’s Soyuz rocket.

But Dmitry Rogozin, director general of Roscosmos and former deputy prime minister, has refused to pursue what should have been a routine launch in response to the UK sanctions on Russia following the Ukraine invasion.

The company is demanding that the UK government sell all of Onweb’s shares and guarantee that the satellites will not be used for military purposes. A final warning Twitter From the official account of Roscosmos. Roscosmos’ demands were emphasized on Wednesday “because of the UK’s hostility towards Russia.” The deadline for fulfilling the demands was 9:30 pm Moscow time on Thursday, Rogozin said in a statement. Interview With Russia24.
OneWeb already has 428 satellites in its orbit The satellites were last launched last month. The company is working to attract customers and attract investors after the UK government and India’s Bharati Global saved it From Bankruptcy In 2020.

Rogozin has tweeted lavish statements in the past in response to Western sanctions – that is, after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. “After analyzing the sanctions against our aerospace industry, I recommend that the United States bring their astronauts to the International Space Station by trampoline,” Rokosin said. On Twitter following US sanctions against Russia’s space sector.

Despite Rogosin’s flamboyant tweets and interviews, the United States and Russia Have historically collaborated in space. Russia has promised to be NASA’s partner at the Rokos International Space Station, as tensions on Earth have led to threats of premature exit.
British lawmakers showed no sign of bowing to Roscomos and submitting to the demands. “No talks on OneWeb: UK government not selling its stake,” Has tweeted that Kwasi Kwerteng, UK Secretary of Commerce and Energy Wednesday. “We are in touch with other stakeholders to discuss the next steps …”

OneWeb did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

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