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OneWeb lost $229 million when Russia canceled its launches and confiscated its satellites

On September 1, 2022, OneWeb revealed that Russia’s cancellation of the last six or so OneWeb launches as well as Russia’s confiscation of 36 satellites cost the company $229 million.

Russia’s actions were the response by then head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, to sanctions imposed on Russia by the west because of its invasion of the Ukraine. Rogozin’s petty response ended up shooting his space agency in the foot, because it ended up losing billions of dollars in foreign launch business, business that is not likely to return for decades.

OneWeb has since signed contracts with SpaceX, ISRO (India’s space agency), and Relativity for future launches. None of these have been firmly scheduled, though the first by SpaceX is tentatively planned for sometime before the end of the year.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • sippin_bourbon

    I did not know they kept that sats also.

    They are in a million pieces being reverse engineered, in Russia.
    They probably sold a few to China as well.

  • Jeff Wright

    Without a doubt.
    Putin was horrible to his space workers…and put them in quite a fix.

  • pzatchok

    China does not need them.

    Russia can not do anything with them.

    They will sit next to the great Buran shuttle and rot.

  • geoffc

    I suspect the satellites were all in Kourou, at the launch site. If OneWeb had shipped them, they would have shipped them to the launch site. How Russia exerts control in an ESA controlled facility is a fun question to ponder.

  • geoffc: The satellites were in Kazakhstan, not French Guiana. They were being launched on a Soyuz by the Russians. Though Arianespace was part of the deal, it had no control over this launch, or in fact any of the remaining Soyuz/OneWeb launches, as I think all of the remaining ones were planned to launch from Kazakhstan.

  • Total cost from the confiscation of 36 satellites cost the company at $229 million, that might include any prepaid launch fees.

  • Col Beausabre

    Let that be a lesson to any companies out there who are doing business in dictatorships, like China, your assets are not safe and can be confiscated tomorrow for whatever reason the dictator de jour pleases. Consider the risk, ask yourself the question, “Has the billion person Chinese market ever panned out?” As an investor, I’d want to know a company’s exposure to loss in such places. (get on it SEC, NYSE and FASB). And, as a taxpayer, no bailouts like the US reimbursing losses in Cuba after the Nationalization. Let them absorb the loss so the lesson sinks in.

  • pzatchok

    From what I understand the one Burran shuttle actually was bought by an Oligarch and was used as a play house for his kids in his side yard.

    The other sat in a hanger until the roof fell in on it.

    The sats will sit around and rot. then be shoved outside into the weather.

  • ” . . . your assets are not safe and can be confiscated tomorrow for whatever reason . . ”

    Like, in this country?

  • pzatchok

    Historically America does not confiscate something without a court ruling first.

  • Edward

    We might think that it can’t happen here, but over the past decade how much has happened that in 2005 we thought could never happen here? What other countries thought that it couldn’t happen there?

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