Sriharikota: ISRO’s LVM3 launch vehicle, in its sixth consecutive successful flight placed 36 satellites belonging to OneWeb Group Company into their intended 450 km circular orbit with an inclination of 87.4 degrees. With this, NSIL has successfully executed its contract to launch 72 satellites of OneWeb to Low Earth Orbit.
The vehicle took off with a total payload of 5,805 kg at 09:00:20 hours local time from the second launch pad at SDSC-SHAR, Sriharikota. It gained the required altitude of 450 km in about nine minutes of flight, achieved satellite injection conditions in the eighteenth minute, and began injecting the satellites in the twentieth minute. The C25 stage performed a sophisticated maneuver to repeatedly orient itself in orthogonal directions and inject satellites into precise orbits with defined time-gaps to avoid collision of the satellites. 36 satellites were separated in 9 phases, in a batch of 4. OneWeb confirmed the acquisition of signals from all 36 satellites.
This mission marked OneWeb’s second satellite deployment from India, highlighting the strong partnership with NSIL and ISRO. It was OneWeb’s 18th launch bringing the total of OneWeb’s constellation to 618 satellites.
Somanath S, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, ISRO congratulated ISRO, NSIL, and OneWeb on the succession mission. He expressed happiness over the consecutive successful flight of LVM3, the opportunity provided by NSIL and the confidence OneWeb team has in ISRO. He thanked the Government for the support and approvals for the missions for the commercial launches that have enhanced the confidence in LVM3. He was delighted to mention that this mission had the upgraded S200 motors with enhanced margins suitable for the upcoming Gaganyaan mission and the motors performed very well.
Radhakrishnan D, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, NewSpace India Limited congratulated ISRO for successful and repeatable performance. Terming the event as momentous, he recalled the challenge of this complex mission in terms of maneuverability.