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Under pressure from Moscow, OneWeb suspends a satellite launch by a Soyuz rocket

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The UK did not cave under the pressure. A few days ago, the Russiathrough its space agency Roscosmoscalled on the British government to relinquish its holdings in OneWeb, a London-based satellite operator. The “request” took the form of obvious blackmail since a Soyuz rocket was at the same time on the launch pad of the Baikonur cosmodrome, ready to send 31 OneWeb “internet” satellites into orbit. Roscosmos warned then that without the abandonment of the British government’s participation in OneWeb, the rocket would not take off (For All Mankindseason 4?).

Unsurprisingly, the London company did not respond favorably to Russia’s requests and even preferred to directly cut ties with the Russian space agency: “The OneWeb Board of Directors has voted to suspend all launches from Baikonur” specified the OneWeb press release just two days ago. OneWeb’s decision has been welcomed by the British government, which has indicated that it will reconsider its participation. “in all projects involving Russian collaboration. » Atmosphere…

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It should be noted that for the year 2022 alone, OneWeb had initially planned to use Soyuz 16 times to send its satellites into orbit. A few hours before this diplomatic clash between Great Britain and Russia on the background of an invasion in Ukraine, Roscosmos had decided to withdraw its engineers from the Kourou space base in Guyana.

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