Isro to launch 36 satellites in maiden commercial flight: All you need to know | India News

NEW DELHI: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to make its maiden commercial launch of 36 broadband communication satellites on-board the space agency’s heaviest rocket Launch Vehicle LVM3-M2.

The countdown began early on Saturday at Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh. The 43.5-metre-tall rocket is scheduled to lift-off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 12.07 am on Sunday.

Here’s all you need to know about Sunday’s launch and its significance:

  1. The LVM3-M2 is dubbed as one of the heaviest for its ability to carry satellites weighing up to 8,000 kgs.
  2. Sunday’s launch assumes significance as the LVM3-M2 mission is the maiden dedicated commercial mission for NewSpace India Ltd, the commercial arm of Isro.
  3. The mission is being undertaken as part of the commercial arrangement between NewSpace India Ltd and United Kingdom-based Network Access Associates Ltd (OneWeb Ltd).
  4. According to the space agency, the mission would carry the heaviest payloads with 36 satellites of OneWeb, becoming the first Indian rocket with a payload of 5,796 kgs.
  5. The launch is also first for LVM3-M2 to place the satellites in Low Earth Orbit (up to 1,200 kms above the Earth) unlike Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (up to 42,000 km above Earth).
  6. Isro scientists have rechristened the launch vehicle as LVM3-M2 from GSLV-MK III as the newest rocket is capable of launching 4,000 kilograms class of satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit and 8,000 kgs of payloads into Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
  7. The LVM3-M2 mission would give a boost to the space agency’s commercial efforts and mark its entry into the global commercial launch service market.
  8. LVM3-M2 is a three-stage launch vehicle comprising two solid propellant S200 strap-ons on its sides and core stage comprising L110 liquid stage and C25 cryogenic stage.
  9. OneWeb Ltd is a global communication network powered from space, enabling internet connectivity for governments and businesses. The company is implementing a constellation of 648 satellites into LEO. This launch will bring OneWeb’s constellation to 462 satellites.
  10. While 36 satellites will be launched on Sunday, another batch of satellites are expected to be placed in orbit by early 2023, ISRO said.
  11. Isro has put into orbit 345 foreign satellites since 1999. If Sunday’s launch is successful, the number will shoot up to 381.
  12. OneWeb is targeting to complete three more missions next year, including one planned in January, in order to complete its constellation.
  13. Earlier, the OneWeb satellites were launched by Russian rockets from the Baikonur spaceport.
  14. In protest against the Ukraine war, OneWeb stopped using Russia’s launch services and instead decided to use Isro’s rockets for the launch.
  15. NewSpace India Ltd, as part of its extended mandate, has at least six commercial missions planned in the next few months, including two GSLV-Mk3 (both for OneWeb) and three PSLV launch missions, and one dedicated satellite mission.

(With inputs from agencies)

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