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Isro to launch 36 OneWeb Internet satellites on LVM-3

Isro launched the first batch of 36 satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota in October last year.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Jan 25, 2023 5:29 PM IST

Launch of IsroOneweb

OneWeb had registered with Isro and SpaceX after Russia denied launch services. (Photo: Isro)

By India Today Desktop web: Months after OneWeb launched a batch of satellites with the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro), the UK-based company sent the second batch to India. The second batch of 36 satellites left the company’s UK facility on Wednesday on an Antonov aircraft.

ISRO is likely to launch the satellites at LVM-3 in March this year. Isro had redesignated the GSLV-MkIII launch vehicles as LVM-3 for launch.

“Our satellites have now been loaded ahead of our next launch with Isro. This is the last time we will load an Antonov aircraft with our satellites for Gen1, proving how close we are to truly global connectivity,” OneWeb said in a tweet as the plane took off.

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Isro launched the first batch of 36 satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota in October last year. The launch is part of two launch service contracts with M/s Network Access Associated Limited (M/s OneWeb) to launch the satellites.

OneWeb is deploying a constellation of satellites. (Photo: OneWeb)

OneWeb recently completed its 16th launch to date, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in Florida, to bring its total constellation to 542 satellites, more than 80% of its Gen1 constellation. “OneWeb remains on track to launch global coverage in 2023, while its connectivity solutions are already available in the broader Arctic region, including Canada, Alaska, the UK and beyond,” the company said in a statement.

Once the satellites arrive in India, they will be docked and integrated with the LVM-3 and undergo key tests to verify mission validity.

OneWeb had registered with Isro and SpaceX after Russia denied launch services following the Ukraine war and Western sanctions. The Soyuz rocket launched at the launch at the Russian-operated Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as the Russian space agency filed demands with the UK government to launch the satellite.

The demands included a guarantee that OneWeb satellites will not be used for military purposes and that the UK government would withdraw as a shareholder in OneWeb.

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