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ISRO’s Heaviest Rocket LVM3successfully places OneWeb’s 36 Broadband Satellites in LEO

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ISRO's heaviest rocket successfully places 36 broadband satellitesOn October 23, 2022, the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) heaviest rocket Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3 or GSLV Mark 3) in its first commercial mission, ‘LVM3 M2/OneWeb India-1 mission’, successfully placed 36 Gen -1 broadband communication satellites of the United Kingdom (UK)-based customer Network Access Associated Limited (OneWeb Ltd) into the Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

  • The rocket was launched from the second launch pad (SLP) of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh (AP).
  • This was OneWeb’s 14th launch, marking a total of 462 satellites.

Points to be noted:

i.It is the first multi-satellite mission to the LEO with the heaviest payload of 5,796kg on LVM3 till date. One satellite was about 150 kg.

  • However, it was the 5th flight of LVM3.

ii.With this launch, LVM3 has made its entry into the global commercial launch service market.

iii.LVM3, formerly known as Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle Mark III or GSLV-MK3 can carry up to 8 tonnes into LEO. The 43.5 metre LVM3 weighs around 644 tonne.

About OneWeb Ltd:

A global communication network, is a customer of NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), ISRO’s commercial arm and Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Department of Space, Government of India.

  • OneWeb Ltd enables internet connectivity for governments and businesses. It is a Joint Venture (JV) between India’s Bharti Enterprises and the UK Government.

Highlights of Mission:

i.This OneWeb’s launch represents more than 70% of its planned 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity worldwide.

ii.LVM3-M2 is the dedicated commercial satellite mission of NSIL.

iii.This mission was a part of the commercial arrangement between NSIL and Network Access Associates Limited (OneWeb Ltd).

iv.OneWeb Gen-1 satellites utilize a bent-pipe technology approach to offer communication in Ku-band and Ku-bands. They are arranged in 12 orbital planes with 49 satellites in each plane at 1200 km.

Recent Related News:

i.The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) were given Rs 860 crore to build 5 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVs) rockets, the versatile workhorse launch vehicle of India and the contract has been signed by the ISRO.

ii.ISRO intends to design and build a new reusable rocket for the global market in collaboration with industry, startups, and NSIL, to considerably reduce the cost of launching satellites.

About Indian Space Research Organisations (ISRO):

Chairman– S Somanath
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
Establishment– 1969