ISRO successfully launches 36 satellites for OneWeb
This batch of 36 satellites by the UK-based OneWeb will be its 18th launch to date, its third this year and the second with ISRO
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday successfully launched the second batch of 36 satellites for the UK-based OneWeb.
“We have lift off! Thanks to our colleagues at @isro and @NSIL_India for a successful launch. If you don’t already, make sure to follow us for more updates throughout the rest of the mission,” OneWeb tweeted at 9.04am on Sunday.
This batch of satellites by the UK-based company will be its 18th launch to date, its third this year and the second with ISRO. This will also complete the company’s first-generation LEO (low earth orbit) constellation, enabling the company to initiate global coverage in 2023.
HT on March 6 reported about ISRO’s plan to launch the second batch of OneWeb’s satellites on March 26.
On February 16, these 36 satellites reached India from the US for their launch. On March 15, the satellites were also encapsulated.
The communications satellites were launched by ISRO’s Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM3). In October last year, the Indian space agency successfully launched the first set of 36 satellites by OneWeb from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, marking the rocket’s entry into the global commercial launch service market.
A week after that, ISRO successfully conducted the flight acceptance hot test of the CE-20 engine in the high-altitude test facility of its propulsion complex at Tamil Nadu’s Mahendragiri for 25 seconds for the second batch of satellites that are expected to be placed on low earth orbit.
After its first launch, OneWeb had said that its partnership with NSIL and ISRO demonstrated its commitment to provide connectivity across the length and breadth of India by 2023.
ISRO’s LVM3 rocket is capable of launching four-tonne class of satellites to geosynchronous transfer orbit. It is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strapons, a liquid propellant core stage and a cryogenic stage. The OneWeb satellites will be placed in orbit at an altitude of 1,200km above the earth’s surface.
“This mission marks OneWeb’s second satellite deployment from India, highlighting the collaboration between the UK and Indian space industries. Across India, OneWeb will bring secured solutions not only to enterprises but also to towns, villages, municipalities and schools, including the hardest-to-reach areas across the country,” the company said last week.