Broadband communication satellite company OneWeb has emerged from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection status, the company announced today. It's now also officially owned by a consortium consisting of the U.K. government and India's Bharti Global, and Neil Masterson is now installed as CEO, replacing outgoing chief executive Adrián Steckel, who will remain as a board advisor.
OneWeb seems eager to get back to actively launching the satellites that will make up its 650-strong constellation -- it has set December 17 as the target date for its next launch. The company has 74 satellites already on orbit across three prior launches, which occurred prior to its bankruptcy filing in March.
OneWeb's acquisition by the combined U.K. government/Bharti Global tie-up was revealed in July, providing a path for the financially beleaguered company to get back to active status with $1 billion in equity funding. The U.K.-based company will continue to operate primarily from the U.K. via this new deal, and it's being positioned as a key cornerstone in positioning the U.K. as a space sector leader and innovator.
The company also announced that its joint-venture manufacturing facility with Airbus has resumed operation in Florida, and will continue to produce new spacecraft for future launches. The plan is to launch additional satellites throughout next year and 2022, and then begin offering commercial service in select areas late in 2021, with a global service expansion intended for 2022.