UK satellite company OneWeb suspends Baikonur launches

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The British government, which owns a stake in OneWeb, said it supported the decision.

“In light of Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, we are reviewing our participation in all further projects involving Russian collaboration,” the government said.

A Soyuz rocket carrying 36 OneWeb satellites had been due to launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos had demanded guarantees the spacecraft would not be used for military purposes.

OneWeb, which will offer broadband via a constellation of 650 satellites, was rescued from bankruptcy by Britain and Bharti Global in 2020. Eutelsat and SoftBank have also invested.