An Arianespace Soyuz rocket launched the first six satellites for OneWeb's new global satellite internet constellation on Feb. 27, 2019. The company aims to launch hundreds more satellites to bring broadband internet access to everyone, everywhere on Earth. Click through this gallery to see photos from the first OneWeb launch and take a look behind the scenes!
The Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana on Feb. 27, 2019 at 4:37 p.m. EST (2137 GMT). In this screenshot taken just 5 seconds after liftoff during a live webcast, you can see the rocket ride a pillar of flame up into the cloudy sky.
An artist's illustration depicts a OneWeb satellite in orbit around the Earth.
The "upper composite" of the Soyuz rocket consists of its Fregat upper stage and the dispenser system, which holds the OneWeb satellites during the launch and deploys them in orbit.
Workers with the French space agency CNES work to integrate one of the six OneWeb satellites on its payload dispenser at the payload preparation facility in the Guiana Space Center.
The Soyuz rocket (without its payload on top) stands beside the mobile gantry, where it was later integrated with its upper composite.
A screenshot from Arianespace's live webcast of the launch shows the rocket at the moment when its engines ignited, starting its journey to deliver the first six OneWeb satellites into orbit.
The Soyuz rocket rises above the launchpad in this image captured 3 seconds after it lifted off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.
A OneWeb satellite is pictured inside the lab as technicians prepare it for its mission.
A OneWeb technician conducts tests on one of the first six OneWeb satellites.
The Soyuz rocket arrives at the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana.
After arriving at the launch site in a horizontal state, the Soyuz rocket was erected on the launchpad.
The upper composite containing the first six OneWeb satellites arrives at the launch site for integration with the rocket.
An upper composite containing the six OneWeb satellites is integrated onto the Soyuz rocket at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou French Guiana.
Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at FutureFlight.aero and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at Space.com. As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.