India's LVM3 to launch the final Gen-1 satellites of OneWeb constellation
Updated: Mar 26
By completing the constellation, the company is taking a pivotal step forward in delivering global coverage.
The Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) heaviest carrier rocket; LVM3 number M3, will launch thirty-six broadband satellites from British start-up OneWeb from the second launch pad in Sriharikota spaceport on India's east coast near Chennai.
This will be OneWeb’s eighteenth launch to-date and its third this year, completing its first generation LEO constellation, and enabling the company to initiate global coverage in 2023.
The launch is scheduled for March 26, 2023 at 03:30 UTC / 04:30 BST / 09:00am IST. The OneWeb satellites will be placed in an orbit inclined at 87.4° to the equator. The 643-ton rocket will take off pointing to a launch azimuth of 176.3°, then perform a 'dog-legged' maneuver to the south and assume the desired tilt "~138°, to avoid flying over Sri Lankan airspace.
NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a company under the Space Department and the commercial arm of ISRO has signed two launch service contracts with M/s Network Access Associated Limited (OneWeb India Communications Ltd.), for the launch of the broadband communication satellites aboard the LVM3 launcher (previously called GSLV-Mk3). It is the first commercial release of LVM3 on demand through NSIL. This agreement with OneWeb is a historic milestone for NSIL and ISRO as the heavy Bahubali (“Stronger Boy”) rocket is entered the global market for commercial launch services since October 2022. OneWeb is a global communications network from space, enabling connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities, and is deploying a constellation of low earth orbit satellites. India's Bharti (Includes Bharti Airtel) firm acts as a major investor and shareholder in OneWeb.
ISRO changes material color of C25 stage
For the first five launches of the LVM3 rocket, ISRO had been using a grey/black insulation material for the C25 stage and currently that material has been coated with a white.