A joint venture of OneWeb and Airbus' defense and space business has opened a new facility in Toulouse, France, to support assembly and integration work on a constellation of 900 satellites designed to provide internet communications services.
OneWeb Satellites will use the 49,000-square-foot production line to validate manufacturing methods for the low-Earth orbit satellites and help establish the framework for a larger facility near Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Airbus said Tuesday.
The joint venture will also build the first 10 satellites at the Toulouse-based facility.
“We have just about nine months until the first of our fleet launches into orbit,“ said Greg Wyler, founder and chairman of OneWeb.
Wyler added the company aims to start launching new satellites every 21 days once it sends the first batch of satellites into orbit.
The facility has test equipment, automation tools and data acquisition platforms designed to accelerate assembly work and evaluate processes and factory performance.
Airbus CEO Tom Enders said Bpifrance supported the establishment of the facility.
The launch of the new facility came a year after Airbus and OneWeb established the joint venture.