Russia’s Loss of Rocket Launch Business Becomes SpaceX’s Gain

OneWeb, a British satellite internet company that canceled rocket launches with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, is turning to SpaceX to send broadband satellites into space.

The alliance, announced on Monday by OneWeb, is unusual because SpaceX is currently OneWeb’s primary rival in the market for beaming high-speed internet from orbit to users on the ground. But a messy dispute with Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, the company’s former launch provider, prompted OneWeb to work with SpaceX. The move also underscores the growing isolation of Russia’s space industry from partners in the West following the initiation of Moscow’s war with its smaller neighbor.

The new agreement with SpaceX would allow OneWeb to finish building its constellation of 648 satellites in orbit and beam internet under a new timeline, Neil Masterson, OneWeb’s chief executive, said in a statement.

“We thank SpaceX for their support, which reflects our shared vision for the boundless potential of space,” he said.