ISRO successfully launches LVM3 rocket carrying 36 OneWeb satellites

    ISRO’s LVM3 has previously injected 36 broadband satellites of OneWeb into the low earth orbit in October last year.


    The Indian Space Research Organisation’s largest rocket Launch Vehicle Mark 3, or LVM3, successfully placed 36 satellites of British start-up OneWeb into the earth orbit on Sunday. The LVM3 took off with a payload of 5,805 kg at 9.00 a.m. from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.


    ISRO OneWeb Tweet


    “This launch is very important milestone for ISRO as we demonstrated the successful launch of second consecutive commercial payload of OneWeb,” said Somanath S, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, ISRO. “This launch has created a new record in the Indian space history. With this launch of LVM3, through the New Space India Ltd, ISRO is confident of handling many more such launches on demand for both LEO and GEO mission in the future.”


    The 36 satellites separated successfully from the LVM3 rocket and were dispensed in nine phases over 1 hour and 14 minutes. It is the 18th launch for the U.K.-based company and brings the total of OneWeb’s constellation to 618 satellites, up from the targeted 588 satellites. The additional satellites are planned for resiliency and redundancy, the company says.


    With this launch, the OneWeb constellation is in place to soon deliver global services. For India, once activated, OneWeb’s coverage solutions are said to bring secured connectivity to enterprises, towns, villages, municipalities, and schools, including the most remote areas across the country.


    Also, New Space India, ISRO’s commercial arm, has successfully completed the contract of launching 72 satellites of OneWeb to low earth orbit. This is the second successful commercial launch of LMV3 where it injected multiple OneWeb satellites into low earth orbit.


    Previously, ISRO’s heaviest rocket LVM3 successfully injected 36 broadband satellites of OneWeb into the low earth orbit in October last year. ISRO renamed Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark -III to LVM 3 to avoid ambiguity while identifying the task of placing satellites into various orbits. The 43.5-meter LVM3 weighs around 644 tonnes, and the rocket will also be used for the nation’s first spaceflight likely to take off in 2024.


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    Monika Asthana




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