British satellite company OneWeb confirmed an asset write-off of $ 229 million after canceling planned take-offs from the Russian facility earlier this year.
The company, which is partially owned by the UK government, is building the 650 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation to connect to some of the world’s most remote parts, transforming consumer services, in-flight Wi-Fi, and industrial applications.
It launched satellites from the Russian-operated Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, but halted operations there earlier this year following its invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian space agency Roscomos demanded guarantees that after the invasion of Ukraine, the technology will not be used for military purposes against the country.
OneWeb has since reached agreements with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and New Space India to continue take-offs as it pursues its goal, but Russia seized the equipment left in Baikonur leading to a write-off.
The company faced bankruptcy in 2020 before it was saved thanks to the acquisition by Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The government now owns a third of the company after an investment of £ 400m. Since then, it has received additional investment from the South Korean firm Hanwha, which has increased its total funding to $ 2.7 billion since its inception.
Earlier this year, OneWeb agreed to a merger with Eutelsat (opens in a new tab)hoping that the combination of their financial and technological resources will enable the creation of hybrid LEO / Geostationary Orbit (GEO) services that can better compete with services such as SpaceX and Amazon Project Kuiper.