Science

United Kingdom invests US $ 500 million in space exploration company

If the deal is approved, the UK government will invest $ 500 million in a consortium to obtain a significant stake in OneWeb, a space exploration company. Bharti Global, an Indian telecommunications company, also entered the consortium with the same investment in dollars. As a result, OneWeb, which was going bankrupt for failing to obtain the necessary funding, is back in business.


In March of this year, OneWeb filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States. The company, which, like others, works on a project to provide internet from space, aims to send 650 satellites to form a true low-altitude artificial constellation that will transmit connectivity to terrestrial terminals, including in remote locations. However, with the lack of investment, the company had only sent 74 project satellites.

Now, with the agreement negotiated last Friday (3), the United Kingdom will have a 20% stake in OneWeb, which is able to complete its constellation of satellites with the financing money. According to Alok Sharma, the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, the investment “presents the opportunity to further develop our strong advanced manufacturing base here in the UK”.

OneWeb satellite. Image: OneWeb

Satellite Navigation

In 2018, as part of the Brexit process, the United Kingdom lost access to the Galileo satellite system, which interrupted the country’s plans to build its own global satellite navigation system due to the high cost associated with starting a project like this. from scratch. With the acquisition of 20% of OneWeb, the scenario changed.

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OneWeb itself has already stated that it intends to resume its operations as soon as possible. Meanwhile, although the company is also headquartered in the United Kingdom, the agreement is subject to United States regulatory approval, which is expected to express its response by the end of this year.

What OneWeb is trying to do when implementing its satellite constellation is the same as SpaceX, the company of billionaire Elon Musk, is building with the Starlink project, which already has more than 500 satellites in orbit.

Via: The Verge

Satellites spaceX elon musk United States United Kingdom Starlink satellite navigation space exploration

 

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