In preparation for launching 36 OneWeb satellites in the third or fourth week of this month, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing its rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III (GSLV MkIII).
The second launch pad at the rocket port in Sriharikota is where the two solid fuel-fired booster motors were attached to the liquid fuel-powered second stage, according to ISRO.
The first stage of the GSLV MkIII rocket is powered by solid fuel, the second stage by liquid fuel, and the third stage is a cryogenic engine.
The 36 satellites have successfully undergone health checks and have been integrated with the dispenser unit, according to ISRO.
After that, the cryogenic stage will be stacked on top of the second stage, and the 36 satellites’ payload fairings or heat shields will be integrated, according to ISRO.
Network Access Associated Ltd. (OneWeb), the commercial arm of ISRO, and NewSpace India Ltd. (NSIL) have each signed two contracts for the launch of OneWeb’s broadband communication satellites into low earth orbit.
Six tonnes will make up the entire launch mass, the official told IANS.
There are several firsts for the Indian space industry with the proposed mission. They are: (a) The GSLV MkIII’s first commercial launch The first time an Indian rocket will carry a payload of about six tonnes; the first time OneWeb will launch its satellites into orbit using an Indian rocket; the first time the GSLV MkIII will be used for a commercial launch by NSIL, the commercial arm of India’s space industry; and the first time the GSLV MkIII or its variants will be used to launch satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO).
Another set of 36 satellites from OneWeb is planned to be put into orbit in January 2023.
“One additional launch will take place this year and three more are targeted for early next year to complete the constellation,” OneWeb had said.
OneWeb, a joint venture between India Bharti Global and the UK government.
The satellite company plans to have a constellation of 650 satellites in low earth orbit to offer communication services.
The GSLV MkIII with a lift off mass of 640 ton is a three stage rocket powered by solid, liquid and cryogenic engines.
The rocket was designed to carry four tonne satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and about 10 tons to LEO.
OneWeb will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity services all over the world once it completes this launch, putting more than 70% of its intended Gen 1 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation in orbit.
This year, Hughes Communications India Private Ltd. and Bharti Enterprises, a significant investor and shareholder in OneWeb, announced a distribution partnership.