Isro to launch 36 OneWeb internet satellites onboard LVM-III on March 26
The India Space Research Organisation (Isro) will launch the second batch of 36 OneWeb satellites into space on March 26. The internet constellation will be launched onboard India’s heaviest launch vehicle, LVM-III from Sriharikota.
The launch will carry 36 satellites part of the OneWeb constellation to Low Earth Orbit, which will complete the deployment of the UK-based company’s Gen-1 network.
“This mission marks OneWeb’s second satellite deployment from India, highlighting the collaboration between the UK and Indian space industries,” OneWeb tweeted.
Isro has redesignated the launch vehicle as LVM-3 from GSLV Mk-III. While the practice of changing the name of the launcher is not uncommon, it is new for India and LVM-3 stands for Launch Vehicle Mark III.
The sole reason behind changing the name of the vehicle from GSLV to LVM is that the rocket will not deploy the satellites in the geosynchronous orbit. The OneWeb satellites operate in Low Earth orbit (LEO) at an altitude of 1,200 kilometers.
The geosynchronous orbit, on the other hand, is located 35,786 kilometers above Earth’s equator.
This will be the 18th launch for OneWeb, which will complete its first constellation around Earth. The company recently conducted the 17th launch to deploy 40 internet satellites onboard SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket. The mission is expected to liftoff at 9 am on Sunday from Sriharikota.https://www.youtube.com/embed/peQikdDpDO0?theme=1
The British government-backed company in March last year canceled a planned launch of 36 broadband satellites aboard Russia’s Soyuz rocket after Russia’s space chief halted the mission in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Dmitry Rogozin said at the time that his agency wanted OneWeb to provide guarantees that its satellites were not going to be used against Russia
The dispute was a temporary setback to OneWeb’s plan to create an initial constellation of 588 satellites to provide global broadband coverage, forcing the company to quickly secure new rocket agreements with the Indian Space Research Organisation and SpaceX.