A CGI rendition of India’s most power launch vehicle GSLV MK-III
OneWeb is launching a constellation of satellites to boost internet
connectivity. OneWeb will have more than 70% of its planned Gen 1 LEO
constellation. OneWeb has partnered with ISRO and SpaceX for launch
services. The satellites will be launched onboard ISRO’s Geosynchronous
Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III
36 satellites part of a constellation by OneWeb arrived in India on Tuesday
to be launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) into Low
Earth Orbit (LEO). The satellites arrived at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre
(SDSC- SHAR) and will be launched from Sriharikota.
Florida ➡️ Satish Dhawan Space Centre
We are excited to confirm the arrival of 36 satellites at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in advance of a planned launch from Sriharikota, India 🛰️
— OneWeb (@OneWeb) September 20, 2022
The satellites will be launched onboard ISRO’s Geosynchronous Satellite
Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV MK-III) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre as
part of an agreement signed between the United Kingdom-based firm and the
NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).
While ISRO is yet to say anything about the launch date, it is expected to
happen in October.
The company in a release said that with this launch, OneWeb will have more
than 70 per cent of its planned Gen 1 Low Earth orbit (LEO) constellation in
orbit as it progresses to deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity
services around the world. The launch will be the company’s 14th mission to
deploy these satellites into orbit.
36 OneWeb satellites arrive at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. (Photo:
“Undertaking the launch of 36 OneWeb satellites onboard GSLV MK-III from
India is a historic moment for NSIL and ISRO. We are excited to see the
arrival of the satellites and the ground support equipment in India in
preparation for the launch,” Radhakrishnan D, Chairman-cum-Managing
Director, NewSpace India Limited, said in a statement.
OneWeb had to look for new launch partners after relations between the West
and Russia soured. it is worth mentioning that OneWeb was using the Russian
Space Agency launch services to deploy its satellites into orbit. Russia had
denied launching the satellites even after integrating three dozen of them
with the launch vehicle and moving it on the pad.
The Soyuz rocket was rolled out on the launch at the Russia-operated
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan when the Russian space agency laid out
demands in front of the UK government in order to launch the satellites. The
demands included a guarantee that OneWeb satellites will not be used for
military purposes, and that the UK government withdraw as a shareholder from
OneWeb has since then partnered with not only the Indian space agency but
also its rival SpaceX for launch services. SpaceX is also deploying
satellite constellations to provide internet connectivity across the world,
and its chief, Elon Musk had recently said that the service is now
accessible on all continents, including Antarctica.