Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced the successful completion of its LVM3-M3/OneWeb India-2 mission with all 36 satellites deployed into their intended orbits on March 26, 2023. The launch took place from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
ISRO’s commercial arm, NewSpace India Ltd, had signed an agreement with OneWeb Group Company’s Network Access Associates Ltd, United Kingdom, to launch 72 satellites into Low-Earth orbits (LEO). The first satellite deployment collaboration between the two organizations took place on October 23, 2022, with the launch of the first set of 36 satellites for OneWeb Group Company.
The successful mission was celebrated by OneWeb in a tweet, where they thanked their colleagues at ISRO and NSIL_India for their collaboration. OneWeb is a global communication network powered from space, enabling connectivity for governments and businesses. Bharti Enterprises is a major investor in OneWeb group, which is engaged in the implementation of the constellation of low earth satellites.
According to OneWeb, the launch completed on March 26th would be the 18th launch and third this year, completing the first generation of LEO constellation. For ISRO, this is the second launch in 2023 after the successful launch of SSLV-D2/EOS07 mission in February.
ISRO LVM3 carried 5805 kg of payload to Low Earth Orbit
ISRO said that the launch vehicle mission would place the 36 first-generation satellites weighing 5,805 kgs into a 450 km circular orbit with an inclination of about 87.4 degrees. This is the sixth flight of LVM3, which was earlier known as Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII (GSLVMkIII). It had five consecutive missions, including the Chandrayaan-2.
OneWeb stated that the mission would be one of the “most significant milestones” in the history of the company, as it would add 36 satellites to the OneWeb fleet and complete the first-ever global LEO constellation. With the successful completion of the mission, OneWeb will soon be ready to roll out its global coverage.
The successful deployment of all 36 satellites has marked a significant achievement for both ISRO and OneWeb, as they continue to collaborate and innovate in the space industry. The LVM3-M3/OneWeb India-2 mission has strengthened India’s position as a leading space-faring nation, providing valuable opportunities for future space exploration and research.