Indian Space Research Organisation’s heaviest payload rocket, LVM3 carrying 36 OneWeb satellites onboard took off on March 26 from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SDSC-SHAR, Sriharikota. The 43.5 metre tall vehicle weighs 643 tonne.
This is the second mission for Network Access Associates Limited, United Kingdom (OneWeb Group Company) under a commercial agreement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) to launch 72 satellites to Low-Earth Orbits. The first set of 36 satellites was launched in LVM3-M2/OneWeb India-1 mission on October 23, 2022.
In this mission, LVM3 would place 36 OneWeb Gen-1 satellites totalling about 5,805 kg into a 450 km circular orbit with an inclination of 87.4 degrees. This is the sixth flight of LVM3. The LVM3 had five consecutive successful missions, including the Chandrayaan-2 mission.
OneWeb is a global communication network powered from space, enabling connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities. It is implementing a constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. India’s Bharti Enterprises serves as a major investor and shareholder in OneWeb. This is OneWeb’s 18th launch, its third this year, bringing the total of OneWeb’s constellation to 618 satellites. This launch is a major milestone for the company, with the number of satellites now in-orbit enabling global service, the first LEO operator to reach this milestone. OneWeb will soon be ready to roll out its global coverage.