Bengaluru: ISRO’s heaviest LVM3 rocket will launch 36 broadband satellites of British start-up OneWeb on October 23 from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh, marking the launch vehicle’s entry into the global market for commercial launch services.
ISRO’s heaviest rocket LVM3 or Launch Vehicle Mark 3 was earlier called GSLV Mk III or Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III.
The ‘LVM3 – M2/OneWeb India-1 Mission’ is scheduled to launch on October 23 at 00:07 hrs IST (midnight on October 22), the Bengaluru-based Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said.
“Cryostage, equipment bay (EB) assembly complete. Satellites are encapsulated and assembled in vehicles. Final vehicle checks underway,” it said.
Earlier this month, ISRO said NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a central public sector enterprise (CPSE) under the space ministry and the space agency’s commercial arm, had signed two launch service contracts with UK-based Network Access Associates.
Limited (OneWeb) to launch OneWeb LEO (low earth orbit) broadband communications satellites on board ISRO’s LVM3.
“It is the first commercial on-demand launch through NSIL targeting LVM3,” ISRO said.
“This contract with M/s OneWeb is a historic milestone for NSIL and ISRO, as LVM3, is entering the global market for commercial launch services,” it said.
The latest rocket is capable of launching four-ton satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
The LVM3 is a three-stage vehicle with two solid engine belts, a liquid fuel base stage, and a cryogenic stage.
India’s Bharti Enterprises is a major investor and shareholder in OneWeb.