ISRO launches India's largest LVM3 rocket with 36 satellites
The Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM-III) took off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Sunday.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday successfully launched India’s largest Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM3) rocket/OneWeb India-2 Mission with 36 satellites onboard from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
The countdown to the second commercial launch of LVM3 rocket was kickstarted on Saturday. The lift off of the 43.5 metre tall rocket took place at 9 am. The 36 first generation satellites weighing 5,805 kgs will be placed into a 450 kms circular orbit with an inclination of about 87.4 degree.
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The LVM-III will deploy 36 satellites of the UK-based Network Access Associated Ltd (OneWeb) to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) on Sunday. The OneWeb Group Company has inked a contract with ISRO's commercial arm NewSpace India Ltd to launch 72 satellites into LEO. The first satellite deployment collaboration between the two organisations took place in October 2022 with ISRO launching 36 satellites of OneWeb. OneWeb is a global communication network powered from space, enabling connectivity for governments and businesses.
OneWeb, which has Bharti Enterprises as a major investor, would be completing the first generation of LEO constellation with its 18th launch and third this year. After SSLV-D2/EOS07 mission in February, the OneWeb India-2 Mission is ISRO’s second successful launch this year.
Previously known as Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII (GSLVMkIII), Sunday’s launch is LVM3 rocket's sixth overall flight. It had five consecutive missions including the Chandrayaan-2.
OneWeb said,Terming the addition of 36 satellites to the OneWeb fleet and the completion of the first ever global LEO constellation a significant milestone, the company said that the ‘pivotal’ mission of OneWeb Launch 18 is remaining. The company also indicated it will roll out global services in 2023. "17 launches completed. As we launch another 36 satellites with our colleagues at ISRO and NewSpace India Ltd this weekend (March 26), we will reach 616 satellites in-orbit.."
(With inputs from PTI)