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Global internet coverage with mass-produced satellites
April 25, 2016, 2:35 pm

While producing even one satellite in a day is unheard of, OneWeb Satellites is aiming to roll-out more than two per day. They will need to, if the 900 satellites they plan to launch in the coming years to provide global internet coverage is to materialize.

A joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus Defense and Space, the production facility, which is to be located next to the NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will initially produce a constellation of 648 satellites that could ultimately grow to 900 satellites to provide internet coverage all over the planet.

According to the International Telecommunication Union, due to challenges with the way internet is currently provided, 57 percent of the world still does not have reliable access to the World Wide Web.

OneWeb founder Greg Wyler is determined to place a satellite constellation in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) around Earth to provide universal internet coverage. The LEO constellation will also reduce latency issues (time it takes for data to travel to a satellite and back to the user) which are important for streaming or gaming applications.

To do this successfully OneWeb will have to become the first company to mass-produce satellites using assembly-line techniques similar to those used in aircraft production.

Wyler’s ambitious goal to bring low-latency, broadband Internet to the entire world has required a number of historic partnerships and firsts for the space industry, including becoming the first to mass-produce satellites using assembly-line techniques similar to those used in automobile and aircraft production.

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