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ISRO’s heaviest rocket LVM3 successfully places 36 OneWeb satellites in low earth orbit

The 43.5 meter LVM3 weighs around 644 tonnes and carried 36 satellites that weighed around 5.7 tonnes.


The Indian Space Research Organization’s heaviest rocket Launch Vehicle Mark 3, or LVM3, has successfully injected 36 broadband satellites of British start-up OneWeb into the low earth orbit. The rocket took off from the launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota at 12.07 a.m. on October 23.


“The mission is very critical to meet the customer’s expectations to launch 36 satellites in 9 phases with precision. The mission was designed in such a way that C25 stage was to handle this operation using in-house built inertial navigation systems,” said Somanath S, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, ISRO.


“The injection of the satellites were so precise to the expectation of the customer. NSIL, the commercial arm of ISRO, entered into this contract and executed the same in a record time,” Somnath, who expects the event to pave way for more launches in the future, added.


This is OneWeb’s 14th launch, which represents more than 70% of its planned 648 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite fleet and bringing the constellation to 462 satellites, ISRO said in a press release. Bharti Global is OneWeb’s largest investor.



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 carried 36 satellites that weighed around 5.7 tonnes. The mission is significant to India as the LVM3 made its debut in the global commercial launch service market with this launch. The rocket will also be used for the nation’s first spaceflight likely to take off in 2024.


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