OneWeb launches 36 satellites using ISRO rocket

India’s GSLV MkIII rocket, renamed for this mission as LVM3 M2, on Sunday lifted off with 36 satellites of the UK-based OneWeb from the rocket port in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
ISRO and OneWeb satellite launch
The 43.5 metre tall and weighing 644 ton LVM3 M2 rocket carrying 36 satellites weighing totally 5,796 kg or about 5.7 ton blasted off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 12.07 a.m.

The LVM3 will sling the 36 small broadband communication satellites of Network Access Associated (OneWeb) in low earth orbit (LEO).

Another set of 36 satellites from OneWeb is planned to be put into orbit in January 2023.

The satellite company plans to have a constellation of about 650 satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) to offer communication services.

OneWeb is using an Indian rocket to put its satellites into orbit for the first time. It is the first launch of GSLV MkIII contracted by NewSpace India (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO.

OneWeb will be paying about Rs 2,000 crore to the Indian space agency to launch its 72 satellites.

Sunil Mittal Bharti, Chairman, OneWeb said the company will be paying Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) about Rs 1,000 crore for launching 36 satellites.

OneWeb will also use ISRO’s another LVM3 rocket in January to launch 36 satellites.

OneWeb plans to have a constellation of 648 satellites in LEO to offer its broadband services across the world.

“Nearly 10 percent of OneWeb’s satellites will be launched by ISRO,” Shravin Mittal, Managing Director, Bharti Global said.

By middle of next year OneWeb will start offering its broadband service focused on the business-to-business segment, Sunil Mittal said.

OneWeb in a news statement said that the launch represents more than 70 percent of its planned 648 low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite fleet. OneWeb remains on track to activate global coverage in 2023, while its connectivity solutions are already live in regions north of 50-degrees latitude.

Radhakrishnan D, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, NewSpace India, said: “The launch of 36 OneWeb satellites via the GSLV-MkIII from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre is a historic moment for NSIL and ISRO.”