‘Exemplifies Atmanirbharta’: PM Modi congratulates Isro on successful launch of 36 satellites

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday congratulated the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after 36 broadband communication satellites of the OneWeb broadband constellation were successfully deployed into their intended orbits by the Indian space agency’s giant rocket on its first commercial mission.

“Congratulations New Space India Limited, IN-SPACe, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on the successful launch of our heaviest launch vehicle LVM# with 36 OneWeb satellites meant for global connectivity, LVM3 exemplifies Atmanirbharta & enhances India’s competitive edge in the global commercial launch service market (sic),” the PM tweeted.

OneWeb Ltd. is a global communication network driven by space and providing internet access for businesses and governments, is a UK- based client of NSIL, ISRO’s commercial arm.

The mission was significant as it was Launch Vehicle Mark III (LVM3)’s first foray into the commercial space market.  This was also the first time any of India’s rockets carried a 6-ton payload to space. The weight of the 36 satellite payload totalled around 5.8 tonnes, which is the heaviest payload for the space agency to date.

Isro chairperson S Somnath announced that the same launch vehicle would carry another 36 OneWeb satellites in its next LVM-M3 launch.

This part of the UK-based Network Access Associated Limited’s plans to create 588 satellite strong constellation to provide high-speed, low-latency global connectivity. These satellites will be placed in 12 rings of 49 satellites each, with every satellite completing a full trip around the earth in 109 minutes. This was the fourteenth launch for OneWeb, increasing the fleet to 464 satellites so far. The constellation is likely to be completed by next year.

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