The UK-based satellite communications company Network Access Associated Ltd (OneWeb) on Friday said 40 of its satellites were successfully launched by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

OneWeb is backed by India’s telecom major Bharti Group.

According to OneWeb, the rocket carrying the 40 satellites lifted off on Thursday.

The satellites separated successfully from the rocket and were dispensed using three separation groups over a period of 40 minutes, with the last separation occurring an hour and 35 minutes after launch.

Signal acquisition on all 40 satellites has been confirmed, OneWeb said.

This launch is OneWeb’s 17th to date and the penultimate mission as the company is set to complete its first-generation (Gen 1) LEO satellite constellation and enable global coverage in 2023.

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With 582 satellites now in orbit, OneWeb will complete the global footprint of its Gen 1 constellation with a launch set to take place later this month with ISRO/NSIL.

“Today’s launch is an exciting milestone as we are now just one mission away from completing our Gen 1 constellation, which will activate global service in 2023. Now more than ever, OneWeb is dedicated to continuing the momentum we have garnered from the past 17 successful launches, to innovate alongside our trusted partners, and deliver connectivity solutions at scale. Each launch is a group effort, and today’s success would not have been possible without the dedication of the entire launch team and our partners here in Florida,” said Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb.

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Later this month, an Indian rocket LVM3 will carry 36 OneWeb satellites and orbit them. This will take the total number of OneWeb’s low earth orbit satellites to 618.