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Confirmed: Tomorrow’s OneWeb launch on Soyuz-2 rocket cancelled

Russia’s state-run press today confirmed that the launch tomorrow of another 36 OneWeb satellites on a Soyuz-2 rocket from Baikonur has been cancelled.

The decision was announced by Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin.

He also instructed to stop preparations for the launch of British OneWeb communications satellites from three spaceports. “All the launches from all Russian launch pads in Kourou, in Baikonur and at the Vostochny Cosmodrome involving the OneWeb company are to be stopped,” the Roscosmos CEO said.

Rogozin has already said that Russia will not refund OneWeb any money it paid for any of the cancelled launches. Nor will Russia return the OneWeb satellites in Kazakhstan to OneWeb.

Meanwhile, it appears that OneWeb is aggressively searching for new launch alternatives.

“We’re looking at U.S., Japanese and Indian options,” Chris McLaughlin, OneWeb’s chief of government, regulatory affairs and engagement, said March 3. “But in the first instance, we’re pointing to Ariane and saying you still owe us a number of launches.”

This statement implies that OneWeb is trying to get Arianespace to pick up the cost of any launches where Russia has been paid but will not launch. This way OneWeb won’t have to pay twice for the launch. This strategy will only work if the partners in the European Space Agency, which owns Arianespace, decide to cover OneWeb’s losses to Russia, which makes this a political decision.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • David Eastman

    I can’t figure out what Rogozin is thinking with these moves. The Russian space program is going to be completely destroyed by this, they’re losing virtually all their customers and at the same time making it clear that you’d have to be insane to sign up for the future. And while it may not be worth the time and effort, I can’t think any of the international trade organizations and courts would approve “no, we’re not refunding your launch costs, and we’re not giving you back your satellites, either.” Maybe the no refunds, but keeping the payload is just stupidity.

  • V-Man

    Yes, I’d love to see the reasoning behind “we’re keeping your satellites”.

  • Xopher

    “Yes, I’d love to see the reasoning behind ‘we’re keeping your satellites’.”

    The same reasoning where when DC/NYC cancels Russia,
    Russia cancels you!

  • Spectrum Shift

    This decision will quickly chill anyone’s consideration to use Russia as a launch platform. Even if Russia offered “free” launch services, would you trust them with your satellites? Uh…no!

  • Max

    Putin is making some moves that may turn things around. His tactics and ethics is self evident by the way he eliminates his competition. But this has the Davos forum, build back better crowd shaking in their boots because he’s not going to bow down before them or allow Schwab to do to Russia what they’ve already done to the United States.

    The ruble is backed by gold? And the 30 trillion in US debt is backed in by paper? Air?

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