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ISRO launches LVM3 rocket carrying 36 satellites from Sriharikota

ISRO's heaviest rocket LVM3 carrying 36 satellites belonging to UK-based OneWeb Group lifted off from this space port today. The second dedicated mission for NewSpace India Ltd, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation is part of the agreement signed with Network Access Associates Ltd, United Kingdom (OneWeb Group Company) for launch of 72 satellites into Low-Earth orbits(LEO).

Published 26.03.23, 04:32 PM
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The first set of 36 satellites of OneWeb Group company was launched on October 23, 2022 by ISRO. At the end of the 24.5 hour countdown, the 43.5 metre tall rocket blasted off at 9 am from the second launch pad here, about 135 km from Chennai.Bharti Enterprises is a major investor in OneWeb group, which is engaged in the implementation of the constellation of low earth satellites.

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Twitter/ @isro

The launch was the 18th for OneWeb Group company while for ISRO, it would be the second mission in 2023 after the successful launch of SSLV/D2-EOS07 mission undertaken in February. It is a global communication network powered from space, enabling connectivity for governments and businesses. The launch was the 18th for OneWeb Group company while for ISRO, it would be the second mission in 2023 after the successful launch of SSLV/D2-EOS07 mission undertaken in February.

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Twitter/ @isro

With today's mission, OneWeb would have 616 satellites in its fleet which would be more than enough to launch global services later this year. The mission marks OneWeb's second satellite deployment from India, highlighting the collaboration between the United Kingdom and Indian space industries, OneWeb said.Across India, OneWeb would bring secured solutions not only to enterprises but also to towns, villages, municipalities and schools including the hardest to reach areas across the country, the company said.

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“This is the most significant milestone in the history of OneWeb, as we reach the satellites needed for global coverage,” Neil Masterson, Chief Executive Officer of OneWeb said in a statement. Sunday's launch was for the second time that OneWeb used ISRO's satellite launch services. The first batch of 36 OneWeb satellites was launched from Sriharikota on October 23 last year.

“I am particularly proud that OneWeb has crossed the threshold to be able to provide its global coverage in India,” Sunil Bharti Mittal, Executive Chairman of One Web said.

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Scientists at ISRO reaped another success with the LVM3-M3/OneWeb India-2 mission as the rocket used had a configuration similar to the one that would be used for human spaceflight in the ambitious Gaganyaan project. It had the S200 motors on board, similar to the launchers that are required for the Gaganyaan mission, ISRO Chairman S Somanath noted.

"This rocket (LVM3-M3) also has the S200 motors that are designed with increased margins and features which are suited for Gaganyaan configuration. We are happy that it performed very well in this mission." he said, addressing scientists at the Mission Control Centre.

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Speaking about future missions, Somanath said the scientists were gearing up for a commercial launch of a polar satellite launch vehicle in April. "We are getting ready for the next launch campaign soon. So, Satish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota is going to be buzzing with a lot of work for the subsequent launch mission," he added. 

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