ISRO : OneWeb, a satellite firm located in London, is back on track with the launch of 36 new spacecraft for its worldwide broadband internet infrastructure. The platforms were launched aboard a GSLV rocket from India’s Sriharikota island.

OneWeb’s plans to construct its telecommunications network had been put on hold since March when the company was forced to stop using Russian Soyuz rockets. The trip on Sunday lifts the total number of satellites in orbit around the Earth to 462.

This is more than 70% of the total funding required by OneWeb to provide global coverage with its first-generation constellation. The company, which is partly controlled by the British government, plans to finish the roll-out by the middle of next year.


At 00:07 a.m. on Sunday, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), India’s largest and most capable rocket, lifted clear of the Satish Dhawan spaceport in the state of Andhra Pradesh (19:37 BST, Saturday).

It took an hour and a half to discharge all of the satellites at 600km altitude. It will be many weeks until the spacecraft’s ion engines propel them into their operational, 1,200km polar orbits. Back in March, OneWeb’s condition appeared to be exceedingly precarious.

The Ukrainian war threw the company’s plans off course. Because of the conflict and the following Western sanctions against Russia, the company lost access to Russian Soyuz rockets.

OneWeb needed to move swiftly to obtain rides on other carriers because it only had two-thirds of its satellites in space. Agreements were reached with American rocket companies SpaceX and Relativity Space, as well as India’s New Space India Limited, the commercial branch of India’s space agency, ISRO, which promotes the GSLV.

OneWeb is already providing high-speed internet connections to beta users located north and south of 50 degrees latitude. This new launch, along with another scheduled before the end of the year, will bring coverage closer to the equator.

“We need to get these launches out before Christmas so that we can turn on the service from 25 degrees North and 25 degrees South. The constellation will then be completed by spring, allowing us to begin global commercial service by the end of next year “Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb, stated.

The proposed combination of OneWeb and Paris-based Eutelsat has been the focus of attention since March. The French company runs telecommunications satellites in what is known as Geostationary Orbit, which is 36,000 kilometers in altitude. It is one of the largest distributors of direct-to-home television.

The merger proposal is now going through the competitive and regulatory approval processes. The Indian Space Research Organization operates the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), an expendable launch mechanism (ISRO). From 2001 until 2021, the GSLV was used in fourteen launches, with more planned. Despite its name, the GSLV Mark III is a completely different launch vehicle.

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) project began in 1990 with the goal of developing an Indian launch capability for geosynchronous satellites.

The S125/S139 solid rocket booster and the liquid-fueled Vikas engine are both proven components of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launch vehicles. Because of the thrust required to place the satellite in a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), the third stage was to be powered by a LOX/LH2 cryogenic engine, which India did not own or have the technological expertise to produce at the time.

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