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Russia refuses to return satellites to OneWeb. Huge financial explosion for space internet company.

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The space internet company OneWeb says it has incurred a financial loss of 229 million dollars, equivalent to about 2.5 billion kroner, after being unable to launch satellites using Russian Soyuz rockets.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia made several demands on OneWeb if the Russian space agency Roscosmos continued to launch the company’s satellites. However, Roscosmo’s demands were deemed unreasonable by OneWeb. Among other things, the British government, one of OneWeb’s largest owners, also wanted the company to divest.

According to OneWeb’s annual report, Roscosmos is refusing to return 36 OneWeb satellites that were waiting to be launched before Russia invaded Ukraine. Roscosmos refuses to return advance payments made by OneWeb for the now-cancelled rocket launches. This means OneWeb can now write off $229 million in expenses.

After OneWeb canceled its cooperation with Roscosmos, it was forced to turn to its worst rival, SpaceX, for help in getting its satellites into space. As you know, SpaceX is behind Starlink, today’s main solution for space internet. OneWeb is also in talks with the Indian space agency ISRO, which may help with future satellite launches.

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