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Earth seen from orbit at night. Photo: NASA

OneWeb — a company that planned to bring high-speed internet to unconnected people around the world — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday.

Why it matters: OneWeb was a frontrunner in the increasingly competitive race to beam back high-speed broadband from space using large constellations of small satellites in low orbits.

Details: The company is planning to use the bankruptcy to pursue a sale, a statement from OneWeb reads.

  • According OneWeb, the company had a difficult time securing funding in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • "Our current situation is a consequence of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis," OneWeb CEO Adrian Steckel said in the statement. "We remain convinced of the social and economic value of our mission to connect everyone everywhere. Today is a difficult day for us at OneWeb."
  • OneWeb — which has launched 74 satellites — sent its last batch of spacecraft to orbit on March 21.

The big picture: OneWeb's exit leaves SpaceX's Starlink constellation as the clear frontrunner in this portion of the space industry, with Amazon's Kuiper also on the horizon.

  • These companies think that constellations of small satellites could blanket the globe with internet, bringing millions of people online that currently have little or no access to high-speed internet.
  • Others worry that these large batches of satellites could clutter up space and even impair astronomers' ability to study the cosmos.

Go deeper: Bezos vs. Musk 2.0

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

5 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.