ISRO’s heaviest rocket LVM3 will launch the 36 broadband satellites of British start-up OneWeb from the spaceport in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on October 23, marking the launch of the launcher in the global commercial launch services market. LVM3 used to be called GSLV Mk III.
The launch of ‘LVM3 – M2/OneWeb India-1 Mission’ is scheduled for 12:07 a.m. IST on Oct. 23 (midnight Oct. 22), said the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), headquartered in Bengaluru.
“Cryo stage, equipment room (EB) assembly completed. Satellites are encapsulated and assembled in the vehicle. Final vehicle checks are underway,” it said.
Earlier this month, ISRO said NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a central public sector company (CPSE) under the Department of Space and the commercial arm of the space agency, had signed two launch service contracts with UK-based Network Access Associates Limited. (OneWeb) for the launch of OneWeb LEO (Low Earth Orbit) broadband communications satellites aboard ISRO’s LVM3.
“It is the first LVM3-specific commercial on-demand launch through NSIL,” ISRO had said.
“This contract with M/s OneWeb is a historic milestone for NSIL and ISRO as LVM3 enters the global commercial launch services market,” it said.
The latest rocket can launch a class of four-ton satellites in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
LVM3 is a three-stage vehicle with two fixed engine strap-ons, a liquid propellant core stage and a cryogenic stage.
Bharti Enterprises of India is a major investor and shareholder of OneWeb.