OneWeb today confirmed the successful deployment of 36 satellites launched by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC- SHAR) in Sriharikota, India. This launch by ISRO and NSIL is one of the biggest commercial orders by India’s premier space organization, and the first using the LVM3 rocket.
The lift-off took place on Sunday, 23rd October 2022 at 00.07 hrs. OneWeb’s satellites separated successfully from the rocket and were dispensed in 9 phases over a period of 1 hour and 15 minutes, with signal acquisition on all 36 satellites confirmed.
This is the 14th launch of OneWeb, and the second this year. This launch brings the total of OneWeb’s constellation to 462 satellites, representing more than 70% of its planned 648 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity worldwide. With only four more launches to go, OneWeb remains on track to activate global coverage by 2023, while its connectivity solutions are already live in regions north of 50-degrees latitude.
Shri. Somanath S, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, ISRO said: Today’s event is very historic to the country and the Indian Space Programme. This is the first ever commercial launch of LVM3 with a heaviest payload to LEO. The LVM3 was conceived primarily for launching geo-stationary satellites with a payload capacity of 4T, which can be used for launching 6T payloads for LEO. The mission is very critical to meet the customer’s expectations to launch 36 satellites in 9 phases with precision. The mission was designed in such a way, that C25 stage was to handle this operation using in-house built inertial navigation systems. The injection of the satellites were so precise to the expectation of the customer. NSIL, the commercial arm of ISRO entered into this contract and executed the same in a record time. This will pave way for more number of such launches in the future. The interaction with OneWeb was so seamless right from the receipt of the satellites till injection. ISRO and OneWeb teams worked like a family. I compliment all the ISRO centres and Indian industries for the commendable job and congratulate NSIL and OneWeb for the successful launch of LVM3 M2 / OneWeb India-1 mission.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Executive Chairman of OneWeb, said: “Today’s launch is a significant milestone for OneWeb. This new phase of our launch programme from India brings us a step closer to not only enhancing our global coverage but also delivering connectivity in India and South Asia, particularly to the communities who need it most.
“I am proud to be here in Sriharikota, with our partners, ISRO and NSIL. Today my dream of having an Indian element in the OneWeb constellation has been realized. This launch with ISRO and NSIL opens up the space sector in India with the possibility of billions of dollars flowing into the country.