The OneWeb Satellites joint venture (JV) between OneWeb and Airbus has started the construction of its new manufacturing factory at Nasa’s Exploration Park campus in Florida, US, with an $85m investment.
To be developed in collaboration with the state of Florida and Space Florida, the high-volume satellite production facility is scheduled to begin operations later this year.
The factory will feature automation, test equipment and data acquisition capabilities to reduce assembly times, as well as provide a means to analyse factory performance and process improvements.
Once completed, the facility is expected to create around 250 direct, highly skilled manufacturing and engineering jobs, in addition to various other jobs to support the production.
"We will be able to continuously iterate on the design of our satellites, launch new satellites within hours of completion and create significant opportunity in the US.”
OneWeb founder and executive chairman Greg Wyler said: “This facility is a pivotal step toward our mission to build a new global knowledge infrastructure, accessible to everyone.
“Over the past year, and thanks to the energising support of our partners, we’ve greatly accelerated our technical progress.
“With this facility, we will be able to continuously iterate on the design of our satellites, launch new satellites within hours of completion and create significant opportunity in the US.”
The new factory will also produce 900 communications satellites for OneWeb’s low-Earth orbit constellation, which will primarily be used by the company for its global internet services.
Using Airbus’ aircraft manufacturing technologies, the new OneWeb Satellites will be able to produce up to three satellites in a day.