UK satellite firm refuses Russian ultimatum on launch

UK satellite firm refuses Russian ultimatum on upcoming launch

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Key Facts

  • OneWeb, a London-based satellite startup striving for global internet connectivity and a key competitor to Elon Musk’s StarLink satellite internet constellation, has rejected Russian demands to sever ties with the UK government on Thursday.
  • But Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of Roscosmos and a former Deputy Prime Minister with a flair for inflammatory rhetoric, is refusing to go ahead with what should be a routine launch in response to UK sanctions on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
  • The agency demanded that the UK government sell all stakes in OneWeb and that the company guarantee the satellites will not be used for military purposes, according to an ultimatum spelled out on Twitter from Roscosmos’ offical account.
  • “The Board of OneWeb has voted to suspend all launches from Baikonur,” the UK firm said in a statement Thursday.

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