European launch service provider Arianespace has successfully launched 36 more satellites for low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company OneWeb.

The satellites were carried off by a Soyuz rocket from Russia’s spaceport Vostochny Cosmodrome.

OneWeb’s satellites were separated from Soyuz in nine batches over a period of three hours and 51 minutes.

This is the second launch for OneWeb under new ownership and will take the company’s total in-orbit constellation to 146 satellites.

The company is planning to form a constellation of 648 LEO satellites to deliver high-speed, low-latency global services.

It will enable the company to reach all regions north of 50° latitude by the middle of this year.

OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson said: “This is the second of our ‘Five to 50’ launch series and represents a key moment in OneWeb’s return.

“The next launch in the series is scheduled for the end of April, as we continue our drive towards commercial service this year. OneWeb is rising to the challenge of our mission to provide connectivity to everyone, everywhere, all the time. Backed by exemplary shareholders, we are connecting the world.”

Entering bankruptcy protection last year, OneWeb received $1bn in equity investment from its new owners, a consortium involving the British Government and India’s Bharti Enterprises.

Last week, OneWeb demonstrated its satellite-based communications system to the US Department of Defense (DoD).