On October 23, ISRO’s launcher LVM3 will carry 36 broadband satellites for British start-up OneWeb from Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota spaceport, marking the launcher’s entry into global commercial launch services. It is ISRO’s heaviest rocket and was initially known as the GSLV Mk III.
According to the Bengaluru-headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), it has been announced that the launch of the ‘LVM3- M2/OneWeb India-1 Mission’ will take place at 0007 hours IST on October 23 (midnight of October 22).
The statement read, “the cryo stage assembly and equipment bay (EB) assembly have been completed. Satellites are being encapsulated and assembled in the vehicle, and final vehicle checks are in progress.”
ISRO announced earlier this month that its commercial arm, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), under the Department of Space, had signed two launch service contracts with Network Access Associates Limited (OneWeb), a UK-based CPSE. On ISRO’s LVM3, OneWeb will launch two LEO (low earth orbit) broadband communication satellites.
The LVM3 consists of a three-stage vehicle with a liquid propellant core stage, solid motor strap-ons, and a cryogenic stage. The Indian company Bharti Enterprises is a major investor and shareholder in OneWeb.