Countdown for LVM3-M3 OneWeb India-2 mission begins

PTI, Mar 25, 2023, 11:58 AM IST

The countdown for the launch of 36 satellites on-board LVM3-M3/OneWeb India-2 mission commenced, Indian Space Research Organisation said on Saturday.

Network Access Associates Ltd, United Kingdom (OneWeb Group Company) has signed a commercial agreement with ISRO’s commercial arm NewSpace India Ltd to launch 72 satellites into Low-Earth orbits (LEO).

The first set of 36 satellites for OneWeb Group company was launched on October 23, 2022.

OneWeb is a global communication network powered from space enabling connectivity for governments, businesses. The company which has Bharti Enterprises as a major investor, is implementing the constellation of low earth orbit satellites 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 constellation. For ISRO this would be 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 9am from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre here about 135 kms 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 successful missions including the Chandrayaan-2.

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