OneWeb is dedicated to responsible space practices on the basis that space is a shared natural resource which, if used responsibly, can help transform the way we live, work, and connect.
An open approach
Why Responsible Space
We need redundancy and the capability of removing spacecraft from orbit, to keep space clean and reusable for future missions.
OneWeb believes sustainable business practices are essential to support the long-term use of space for all.
The orbital environment must support healthy competition and cannot be allowed to become polluted, dangerous, or disruptive to scientific, educational, government, and commercial endeavours. We are doing our part to leave no trace in the design and operations of our satellite constellation.
OneWeb recognises the emerging space industry’s potential to support an innovative and vibrant ecosystem for the benefit of all its participants.
OneWeb believes industry and governments have a shared opportunity to facilitate the development of new technologies, jobs, and industries, as well as increasing investment, diversity, and inclusion in local communities.
OneWeb believes the space industry has a responsibility to work with governments, scientific communities, and enterprise to advance causes in connectivity that have transformational impact.
New technology for government, enterprise, and community initiatives can solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. To have the greatest impact, these efforts require the combined strength of an industry of innovators.
OneWeb has incorporated a low-cost grappling fixture into our satellite design, to support capture techniques for satellite servicing and disposal.
OneWeb’s low Earth orbit connectivity can be the catalyst and driver of systemic change as societies look to decarbonise their economies. OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson.
Controlling Orbital Debris Risk
Debris mitigation best practices and licensing guidelines are being updated by industry groups and national administrations.
Bridging the Digital Divide
Constellation designer Mike Lindsay shares his vision of sustainable satellite communications that will not compromise the space environment.
A team approach
OneWeb is already a thought-leader in sustainability for the space industry. We proactively engage with some of the most visionary, reputable, specialist and regulatory bodies in our industry on key operational areas.
Space Situational Awareness
- Reliability metrics should be used before launch as well as for de-orbiting, and risk should be evaluated on a system-wide basis (not per satellite).
- Constellations should not overlap in altitude. Propulsion should be required for orbits higher than 400km.
Space Traffic Management
- Retaining control is safer than passivating a satellite. Transparent coordination among operators is key.
- Actively engage with World Economic Forum on satellite collision avoidance "Right of Way".
Assisted Disposal, Removal
- Satellites should either be 'designed for demise' or for targeted re-entry.
- Foster diversity rather than monopolistic competition among active debris removal service providers.
- Develop "Breakdown Cover" agreements.
- ITU regulations document standards for protecting radio astronomy bands from satellite interference.
- OneWeb takes measures to design and operate satellites that comply with these standards and have filters in place to remain outside of radio astronomy bands.
- Gather reliable data on reflectivity and brightness of satellites working with Gal Hassin observatory in southern Italy.
- Set a target of 7.8 magnitude at 1,200 km where magnitude 6.0 is observable with naked eye.
Greenhouse Gas (GHG)
- Collect and verify carbon footprint for OneWeb, launch partners and supply chain. Include carbon footprint guidelines in RFI.
- Engage with World Economic Forum on Space Sustainability Rating.
OneWeb uses the term Responsible Space to describe a far-reaching framework of principles and best-practice on which the company, and other Space industry participants, can build a shared commitment to sustainability in Space.
The fundamental premise is that Space is a shared, natural resource which, if used responsibly, can help transform the way we live, work, and interact. Responsible Space also builds on and strengthens work already being done within the broader Space community to address this important issue. At OneWeb, we apply the principals and values of Responsible Space into all areas of the business. As we build and operate satellites, we apply Responsible Space to design and operational practices, tech innovation and collaborative partnerships.
OneWeb recognizes the emerging Space industry has a tremendous opportunity to develop communications and create new pathways for economic development, global education, rural health care and advancements in environmental science, in a world where 40 per cent of our global population has no access to the internet (Statista, 2021). We believe Space-based communications can improve efficiencies and help solve many of today's pressing problems. As first movers, OneWeb is in a unique position to lead by example.
OneWeb also believes industry and governments have an exciting, shared opportunity to facilitate the development of new technologies, jobs, and industries, as well as increasing investment, diversity, and inclusion in local communities. Responsible Space speaks for the development of a sustainable, innovative and vibrant ecosystem, and for the benefit of all co-participants in this new era of low Earth orbit constellations.
In June 2019, OneWeb re-affirmed its commitments to Responsible Space, building on and strengthening work already begun through its Sunrise Program, the Public Private Partnership with the European Space Agency, and in collaboration with a wide range of partners preparing solutions for the active retrieval and removal of debris from Space.
With OneWeb, these partners are focused on cutting-edge technologies needed to address future environmental remediation needs. OneWeb is also participating in the development of a Space Sustainability Rating system, an effort proposed and led by the World Economic Forum that will reward responsible operators for their good Space environmental stewardship practices. Other OneWeb commitments include the adoption of practices that support job creation, investment into local communities, greater diversity, and inclusion.
OneWeb is not alone in its advocacy for Space environmental stewardship. We are working with research partners, governments and other LEO constellation operators to support and develop best Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Traffic Management (STM) capabilities.
It is imperative that we develop a consolidated and comprehensive regulatory framework for Space safety and orbital debris management, and that this framework is coordinated with international counterparts everywhere for it to have full effect.
“OneWeb’s Responsible Space framework informs who we are and where we are going as a company. With OneWeb growing its connectivity and commercial services since 2021, we are committed to seeing the continued advancement and discussion of the issues at stake for the space community.”
Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb
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