OneWeb’s 14th launch sees 36 satellites deployed

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NewSpace India has launched 36 satellites for OneWeb, one of the biggest commercial launches ever in India and the first using Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) LVM3 rocket.

The launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC- SHAR) in Sriharikota, India took place on Sunday, 23rd October 2022. OneWeb’s satellites separated successfully from the rocket and were dispensed in nine phases. Signal acquisition on all 36 satellites has been confirmed.

This is OneWeb’s 14th launch, bringing the constellation to 462 satellites. This launch represents more than 70% of its planned 648 low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite fleet. The company has four more launches planned, it hopes to activate global coverage in 2023.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, executive chairman, OneWeb, said: “This new phase of our launch programme from India brings us a step closer to not only enhancing our global coverage but also delivering connectivity in India and South Asia, particularly to the communities who need it most.”

This partnership with NSIL and ISRO is part of OneWeb’s plan to provide connectivity across India by 2023. The commitment in India is backed by Bharti Global, OneWeb’s largest investor.

Shri. Somanath S, secretary, Department of Space and chairman, ISRO, said: “The mission is very critical to meet the customer’s expectations to launch 36 satellites in 9 phases with precision. The mission was designed in such a way, that C25 stage was to handle this operation using in-house built inertial navigation systems. The injection of the satellites was so precise to the expectation of the customer. NSIL, the commercial arm of ISRO, entered into this contract and executed the same in a record time.”

Neil Masterson, chief executive, OneWeb, added: “Over the coming months, OneWeb will continue its focus on the launch programme and will also work with key distribution partners and customers to roll out connectivity solutions where its services are live. OneWeb will advance innovative strategic partnerships with leading companies in the communications sector, and sign agreements in the coming months to support the rollout of its coverage solutions.” 

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