New Delhi: A batch of 36 OneWeb satellites arrived in India on February 16 from the US for their mid-March launch, the UK-based satellite communications firm said in a statement, and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Saturday said it was in the final stages of preparing its heaviest rocket for the purpose. .
“After traveling nearly 9,000 miles from Florida, our satellites have successfully arrived in India and we have begun integration with Isro and NewSpace India Limited ahead of our upcoming launch,” OneWeb said. “This marks another giant leap from OneWeb to global coverage.”
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The communication satellites will be launched by ISRO’s launch vehicle Mark-III. In October last year, the Indian Space Agency successfully launched OneWeb’s first batch of 36 satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, marking the rocket’s entry into the global commercial launch services market.
A week later, ISRO successfully conducted the flight acceptance hot test of the CE-20 engine at its high-altitude test facility at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu for 25 seconds for the second batch of satellites expected to be deployed. Low Earth orbit in March this year.
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OneWeb, the private satellite communications company, has India’s Bharti Enterprises as a major investor and shareholder. NewSpace India, a central public sector enterprise under the Department of Space, had earlier signed two launch service agreements with London-headquartered Network Access Associated Ltd, which runs OneWeb.
ISRO’s LVM3 rocket is capable of launching a four-tonne square satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit. It is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strapons, a liquid propellant core stage and a cryogenic stage. OneWeb satellites will be placed in orbit at an altitude of 1,200 km above the Earth’s surface.
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