Monday, April 15, 2024

Historic: ISRO launches 36 broadband satellites in record time

Hours after the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched LVM3-M2/OneWeb India-1 Mission, it confirmed all 36 satellites were placed into the orbits successfully.

Chairman of the Indian Space Agency, ISRO, S. Somnath, expressed satisfaction with the recent launch of 36 broadband communication satellites into space. Somnath, while addressing the members and dignitaries present at the historic launch event, termed it a “historic” moment for the country and expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the entire team for working around the clock. “It’s a historic mission…It has been possible because of PM Modi’s support as he wanted LVM3 to come into the commercial market, with NSIL in the forefront, to operationalise our launch vehicles for exploring and expanding the commercial domain,” said the ISRO chief. 

He informed the members that among 36 satellites, 16 satellites have been separated successfully and the remaining 20 will be separated in the next 30-40 minutes. “We’ve already started the (Diwali) celebration …16 out of 36 satellites have successfully separated safely, and the remaining 20 satellites will be separated in the next 30-40 minutes. The data will come a little later and the operation of observing is underway,” he added.

CMD, NSIL, said, “We have shown the world how a contract can be completed in less than 3-4 months, in record time.”

Until the beginning of 2022, the satellites constructed by OneWeb were launched by the Russian company – Roscosmos. A total of 42 satellites were launched by the company and all missions were successful. However, since the beginning of the Russia – Ukraine war, the contract between the both was jeopardised and it was finally suspended on March 3.

OneWeb plans to launch 648 satellites, out of which 66 per cent of them have been launched and 220 are remaining. The previous satellites were launched using the Russian Soyuz rockets from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. 

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