36 satellites

ISRO launches LVM3-M3 OneWeb India-2 mission with 36 satellites

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 26 March launched LVM3-M3 OneWeb India-2 mission with 36 satellites. The mission launch took place from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Network Access Associates Ltd, United Kingdom (OneWeb Group Company) has signed an agreement with ISRO’s commercial arm NewSpace India Ltd to launch 72 satellites into Low-Earth orbits (LEO). On 23 October 2022, ISRO had launched 36 satellites of OneWeb. It was the first satellite deployment collaboration between the two organizations. After the launch, OneWeb in a tweet wrote, “We have lift off! Thanks to our colleagues at ISRO and NSIL_India for a successful launch.”

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The first set of 36 satellites for OneWeb Group company was launched on October 23, 2022. At the end of the 24.5 hour countdown, the 43.5 metre tall rocket blasted off at 9 am from the second launch pad, about 135 km from Chennai.

38 satellites

OneWeb is a global communication network powered from the space, enabling connectivity for governments and businesses. Bharti Enterprises is a major investor in OneWeb group, which is engaged in the implementation of the constellation of low earth satellites.

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In an notification on Saturday, ISRO said, “LVM3-M3/OneWeb India-2 mission. The countdown has commenced.” According to OneWeb, Sunday’s launch would be the 18th launch and third this year and it would be completing the first generation of LEO (Low Earth Orbit) constellation.

For ISRO this is the second launch in 2023 after the successful launch of SSLV-D2/EOS07 mission in February. OneWeb said, “17 launches completed. One pivotal launch remains – OneWeb Launch 18. 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 more than enough satellites to launch global services later this year.”

The company said the mission would be one of the “most significant milestones” in the history of OneWeb as it will add 36 satellites to the OneWeb fleet and complete first ever global LEO constellation. The lift off of the 43.5 metre tall rocket is scheduled on March 26 at 9 am from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre here, about 135 km from Chennai.

“OneWeb will soon be ready to roll out its global coverage”, the Indian space agency said. ISRO said the launch vehicle mission would place the 36 first generation satellites weighing 5,805 kgs into a 450 kms circular orbit with an inclination of about 87.4 degree.

This is the sixth flight of LVM3 which was earlier known as Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII (GSLVMkIII). It had five consecutive missions including the Chandrayaan-2.

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