Russian rocket glitch to delay satellite launch for U.S. startup OneWeb


MOSCOW (Reuters) – The launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket set to carry satellites into space for U.S startup OneWeb has been delayed after an anomaly was discovered on the rocket, company chairman Greg Wyler said on Thursday.

The rocket was set to take off next month from Guiana Space Centre propelling the first of a series of satellites into orbit that Virginia-based startup OneWeb plans to use to create a worldwide internet service.

“It’s true, there is an anomaly on the rocket which will cause us to push out the launch. Our satellites are ready to go! More to come,” Wyler wrote on Twitter.

In a separate statement, OneWeb confirmed it had been informed of a technical issue on the Fregat upper stage of the Soyuz launcher, but did not say the launch had been postponed.

“Such events are not uncommon in the launch industry. OneWeb and Arianespace with their Russian partners, remain focused on launch success and launch preparation activities,” it said in a statement.

Arianespace is majority-owned by a joint venture of Airbus and Safran.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Maria Kolomychenko; editing by Jason Neely

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