Russia will launch 36 OneWeb satellites today in the first of three planned satellite launches for 2021. Today’s launch is
Russia will launch 36 OneWeb satellites today in the first of three planned satellite launches for 2021.
Today’s launch is an effort by the Russian government to expand reliable internet access to Russia’s remote eastern territories. The OneWeb satellites are meant to provide broadband internet coverage to underserved or traditionally unreachable areas through low-earth-orbit satellite constellations. A successful launch would be a good sign for expansion plans to North Europe, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and the Arctic Seas in 2021, with the ultimate goal of delivering cheap internet access worldwide.
OneWeb’s satellite constellations will provide underserved areas of the globe with a fast, reliable internet connection, increasing interconnectivity. Such arrays could improve activities like marine transport analytics and resource management, increasing business productivity and efficiency. However, they also pose a global security threat, as hostile actors would also have cheap access to satellite imagery and communications and an expanded cyber theater in which to attack. Nations would then face new, better-coordinated threats in both the cyber and physical realms with targeted attacks to bring down internet services and crash infrastructure. There are also fears that such arrays would clutter space, hindering astronomic observation and potentially damaging existing satellites.
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