The British company OneWeb has just published its annual financial report. Already in great difficulty for several years, the firm shows an increase in its losses of 620%.
OneWeb hopes to launch a constellation of satellites in low orbit around the Earth. The latter will have to, like those of SpaceX with Starlink, allow access to the internet through space. This solution should in particular put an end to the white zones and offer a very good connection speed everywhere on the planet.
Russia no longer wants to work with OneWeb
To make such a project a reality, the company called on Russia and Roscomos. Thus, 36 satellites should have been sent into orbit in recent months. But the situation in Ukraine has changed the situation. In reaction to European sanctions, Russia did not want to honor its contract and never launched with its Soyuz spacecraft. Russia is still blocking the 36 devices on its soil, without giving OneWeb solutions.
In addition to this hardware restraint, the company will lose hundreds of millions of dollars. She, who has already come close to bankruptcy on several occasions, nevertheless claims to have ended the year with a “solid cash flow”.
A few weeks ago, she was entitled to a tax credit of 48 million dollars from the British government. It also received an additional $2 billion in cash.
SpaceX: the solution to keep OneWeb going?
So far, OneWeb has successfully launched 428 satellites. She hopes to reach 648 before the end of 2023 despite recent elements that do not go in this direction. Great adversary of SpaceX in this internet project from space, OneWeb is however likely to work with Elon Musk.
SpaceX presents itself today as the only company with the resources and knowledge necessary to carry out such missions, in such a short time. A fallback for OneWeb, however, could be the European launcher Vega.
As the company gets closer to the ESA and the old continent, it could make the European space agency happy by signing a major contract with this rocket. Other firms with the same objective have already called on Europe for this type of flight. This is particularly the case of Amazon with its Kuiper project which will take off, in part, from Ariane 6.