Onboard the space agency’s largest rocket, the Launch Vehicle LVM3-M2, the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) is prepared to launch 36 broadband communication satellites for the first time on a commercial mission.
At the Andhra Pradesh spaceport of Sriharikota, the countdown started early on Saturday. On Sunday at 12.07 a.m., the 43.5-meter-tall rocket is planned to launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
You can learn everything you need to know about Sunday’s launch here:
- Known as one of the heaviest since it can transport satellites weighing up to 8,000 kg, the LVM3-M2 is one of the largest.
- The LVM3-M2 mission, which was launched on Sunday, represents NewSpace India Ltd, Isro’s commercial division, first dedicated commercial mission.
- The mission is being carried out as part of the business agreement between Network Access Associates Ltd. of the United Kingdom and NewSpace India Ltd. of India (OneWeb Ltd).
- According to the space agency, the mission would launch the first Indian rocket with a payload of 5,796 kgs and carry the biggest payloads, including 36 OneWeb satellites.
- In addition, this is the first launch of LVM3-M2 to deposit the satellites in Low Earth Orbit, as opposed to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, which is up to 1,200 km above the Earth (up to 42,000 km above Earth).
- Scientists at ISRO have renamed the launch vehicle LVM3-M2 from GSLV-MK III since the newest rocket can send 8,000 kg of payloads into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and satellites in the 4,000 kg class into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.
- The LVM3-M2 mission would support the space agency’s commercial initiatives and serve as a launch pad for its entry into the world market for commercial launch services.
- LVM3-M2 is a three-stage launch vehicle that has two strap-on solid propellant stages (S200) on its flanks and a core stage that consists of two cryogenic and one liquid stages (L110 and C25).
- Governments and companies can connect to the internet thanks to OneWeb Ltd., a worldwide communication network powered by space. The business is placing a constellation of 648 satellites in low-Earth orbit. With this launch, OneWeb’s constellation will have 462 satellites.
- A second group of satellites is anticipated to be launched by the beginning of 2023, Isro added, in addition to the 36 satellites that will be launched on Sunday.
- Since 1999, Isro has launched 345 foreign satellites into orbit. If the launch on Sunday is successful, the total will increase to 381.
- In order to finish its constellation, OneWeb plans to launch three additional missions in 2019, including one in January.
- The OneWeb satellites had previously been sent into orbit by Russian rockets from the Baikonur spaceport.
- OneWeb chose to employ Isro rockets for the launch rather than Russia’s launch services as a statement against the conflict in the Ukraine.
- As part of its extended mandate, NewSpace India Ltd. has at least six commercial missions scheduled for the upcoming months, including two GSLV-Mk3 launch flights (both for OneWeb), three PSLV launch missions, and one mission specifically for a satellite.