March 26, 2023: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its heaviest payload rocket, LVM3, carrying 36 OneWeb satellites onboard from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SDSC-SHAR in Sriharikota. The rocket, weighing 643 tonnes and standing at 43.5 metres tall, marks the second mission for Network Access Associates Limited, United Kingdom (OneWeb Group Company) under a commercial agreement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) to launch 72 satellites to Low-Earth Orbits.
The first set of 36 satellites was launched in the LVM3-M2/OneWeb India-1 mission on October 23, 2022. With this mission, LVM3 will place 36 OneWeb Gen-1 satellites weighing approximately 5,805 kg into a 450 km circular orbit with an inclination of 87.4 degrees. This is the sixth flight of LVM3, with the vehicle having previously completed five consecutive successful missions, including the Chandrayaan-2 mission.
OneWeb is a global communication network powered from space that enables connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities. It is implementing a constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, and India's Bharti Enterprises serves as a major investor and shareholder in OneWeb. This is OneWeb's 18th launch and its third this year, bringing the total of OneWeb's constellation to 618 satellites. This launch is a major milestone for the company as it is now the first LEO operator to reach this milestone, with the number of satellites now in-orbit enabling global service. OneWeb will soon be ready to roll out its global coverage.
The successful launch of the LVM3 carrying 36 OneWeb satellites onboard represents a significant achievement for both ISRO and OneWeb. The partnership between the two organisations has led to the successful launch of 72 satellites to Low-Earth Orbits, and the continued expansion of OneWeb's global communication network. With this latest launch, OneWeb is one step closer to achieving its goal of providing global coverage and enabling connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities around the world.