Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) after 36 broadband communication satellites of the OneWeb Broadband group were successfully deployed to their intended orbits by the Indian space agency’s giant rocket on its maiden commercial mission.
“Congratulations, New Space India Limited, IN-SPACe, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), on the successful launch of our heaviest launch vehicle, LVM#, which has 36 OneWeb satellites for global connectivity; LVM3 is an example of self-reliance, and global commercial Enhances India’s competitive edge in Launch Services Market (sic),” the PM tweeted.
OneWeb Limited is a global communications network powered by Space and provides Internet access for businesses and governments, a UK-based client of NSIL, the commercial arm of ISRO.
This mission was significant as it was the launch vehicle Mark III (LVM3)’s first foray into the commercial space market. This was also the first time an Indian rocket carried a payload of 6 tonnes into Space. The 36 satellite payloads weighed around 5.8 tonnes, the heaviest load ever for the space agency.
ISRO Chairman S Somnath announced that the exact launch vehicle would carry another 36 OneWeb satellites in its next LVM-M3 launch.
This part of UK-based Network Access Associated Ltd’s plan is to build a robust 588 satellite constellation to provide high-speed, low-latency global connectivity. These satellites will be placed in 12 rings of 49 satellites each, in which each satellite will complete the entire journey of Earth in 109 minutes. This was OneWeb’s fourteenth launch, which has increased the fleet to 464 satellites. This constellation is likely to be completed by next year.