OneWeb files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Space exploration company OneWeb has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, GeekWire reports, causing uncertainty about the 74 satellites it orbits and its plans to provide fast internet from space.

In a press release, OneWeb said it plans to use the bankruptcy procedure to pursue a sale of the company. “Although the company was close to getting financing, the process was not progressing because of the financial impact and market turbulence associated with the spread of COVID-19,” said the press release, which also stated that the company was “forced to to reduce our workforce. “It was not stated how many people may have been made redundant.

Last Saturday, OneWeb successfully launched 34 satellites on a Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan. The company is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to launch an initial constellation of 648 low-flying satellites to provide high-speed internet worldwide to homes, boats, and aircraft all located above 60th parallel latitude. Plans included offering “fiber-optic Internet” coverage somewhere in the Arctic this year.

Six of its satellites were launched in 2019, followed by another 34 last month.

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