With its second commercial launch on Sunday, the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) LVM-3 put 36 OneWeb satellites in orbit, completing the first-generation constellation and enabling the UK-based company to provide global coverage this year. LVM-3, India’s most powerful rocket, has launched six times, including Chandrayaan-2 in 2019; this was its second flight in which it successfully demonstrated the ability to place numerous satellites in low earth orbit.
Details on 36 satellites are successfully launched by ISRO’s LVM-3, completing the OneWeb constellation
Nine batches of four satellites each were used to launch the 36 satellites into orbit. Overall, the satellites weighed 5,805 kg.
Just over 19 minutes after liftoff, the first batch of satellites was injected into orbit following the rocket’s three stages’ combined burn, which sent the spacecraft into a roughly 450-km circular orbit. 33 minutes after takeoff, the fourth batch was sent into orbit.
When Indian ground stations were not monitoring the vehicle, the other five groups were launched into orbit. After a 43-minute blackout, the ground stations received on-board data, which later confirmed the launch of all the satellites.
In contrast to earlier missions, which had the satellites in a 600-km orbit, the present mission placed them in a lower, 450-km orbit. As a result, the satellites were moving faster when they were launched. This is a hurdle for the mission because the separation must be timed so that the satellites do not collide.
The United Kingdom-based corporation, which has the support of both the Indian company Bharti and the British government, had its second launch by ISRO on Sunday. With its first-generation constellation, the business intends to deploy 588 active satellites to deliver high-speed, low-latency worldwide connectivity. These satellites will be arranged in 12 rings of 49 satellites each, with each ring making a full orbit of the planet in 109 minutes.
The third launch of OneWeb satellites this year, and the eighteenth overall, brought the constellation’s total number of satellites to 618.
“OneWeb is bringing new places online and already has connectivity solutions operational in important global geographies. OneWeb’s high-speed, low-latency solutions will help connect people, businesses, and governments all over the world, showcasing the unmatched potential of LEO (low earth orbit) connection, according to the company’s press release. “OneWeb will offer secured solutions across India,” it continued, “not only to businesses but also to cities, villages, municipalities, and schools, including the hardest-to-reach places.”
“I am very happy today for the consecutive successes of the LVM-3 and want to thank NSIL (ISRO’s commercial arm) for bringing this opportunity to us and for the confidence OneWeb India has in ISRO for this launch,” ISRO Chairperson S Somanath said in his address following the launch of the 16 satellites visible from Indian ground stations.
In addition, he congratulated the ISRO crew for making the rocket dependable, without failing in any of the rocket’s six missions. The mission proved the rocket’s ability to flawlessly launch big, heavy satellites into the proper orbit once more. We are eager to collaborate with business partners to make this rocket the finest in its class.
As it launched the first batch of 36 OneWeb satellites in October of last year, the heavy launch vehicle made its commercial debut. India has been concentrating on growing its part of the global commercial space industry since opening the space sector to private operators in 2020. India only makes up 2% of the commercial market at the moment despite being one of the leading spacefaring nations.