Chennai: The 24 hour countdown for the tomorrow’s morning launch of 36 satellites of the
UK-based One Web using the heaviest rocket Launcher GSLV-MkIII–rechristened as LVM3-M2–from the spaceport of Sriharikota, SHAR Range, commenced today morning.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) sources said the countdown began at 12.07 a.m. on Saturday morning.
The launch will take place from the Second Launch Pad at 12.07 A.M. tomorrow. During the countdown, propellant filling operations will be carried out in the three-stage vehicle.
This would be an exclusive dedicated commercial mission by the Indian Space Agency.
ISRO has redesignated the GSLV-MkIII as LVM-3 as the rocket will inject the satellite in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and not in the Geo-Synchronous Transfer Orbit for which the Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) has been designed.
About 20 minutes after lift off, the 43.5 m tall 3-stage vehicle, with a total lift-off mass of 644 tonnes, will place the satellites into circular LEO of 601 km with an inclination of 87.4 Deg to the equator.
This mission is the fifth flight of LVM3 and with this launch, LVM3 is making its entry into
the ‘Global Commercial Launch Service Market’.
ISRO said it is the first multi-satellite mission with 36 OneWeb Satellites to the LEO as the heaviest payload mass of 5,796 kg of LVM3 till date. This is the first commercial mission of LVM3, first multi-satellite mission with 36 OneWeb satellites onboard, First launch of LVM3 to LEO, First Indian rocket with six ton payload, First NSIL mission with LVM3 and the First OneWeb Mission with NSIL/DoS.
OneWeb is a global communication network powered from space enabling connectivity for governments, businesses and communities. It is implementing a constellation of LEO satellites.
India’s Bharti Enterprises serves as a major investor and shareholder in OneWeb. This is OneWeb’s 14th launch and with ISRO and NSIL opens up the space sector in India.
The constellation will have a total of 648 satellites.