OneWeb sends 36 satellites

OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, confirmed the deployment and contact of 36 satellites launched by NewSpace India (NSIL), from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC-SHAR) in Sriharikota, India.
OneWeb’s satellites by ISROLift-off took place on Sunday, 26th March 2023 at 9:00am local time. OneWeb’s satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine phases over a period of 1 hours and 14 minutes, with signal acquisition on all 36 satellites confirmed.

This is OneWeb’s 18th launch, its third this year, bringing the total of OneWeb’s constellation to 618 satellites. The OneWeb constellation design calls for 588 satellites for global coverage and additional satellites are planned for resiliency and redundancy.

By the year-end, OneWeb will be ready to roll out global coverage, enhancing its existing connectivity solutions that are already live in regions north of 50-degrees latitude as it brings new areas online by partnering with leading providers.
This mission marks OneWeb’s second satellite deployment from India. OneWeb’s coverage solutions will bring secured connectivity to enterprises, towns, villages, municipalities and schools, including the most remote areas across the country.

Neil Masterson, Chief Executive of OneWeb, said: “This is the most significant milestone in the history of OneWeb, as we reach the satellites needed for global coverage.”

ISRO’s commercial arm, NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL) has signed a contract with the UK company to launch 72 satellites in two phases for a launch fee of over Rs 1,000 crore, OneWeb Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal had said last October.

The first batch of 36 satellites was launched on October 23, 2022 from Sriharikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh with the LVM3 rocket formerly known as Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII (GSLV MkIII).

OneWeb Gen-1 satellites belong to the 150 kg class. The constellation comprises 648 individual satellites. Out of that 588 Active Satellites equally divided among 12 planes operate at an altitude of about 1200 km above the Earth’s surface, ISRO said.