Bengaluru : Indian space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) created history at 12:07 after midnight on Saturday-Sunday. ISRO launched the agency’s heaviest rocket 43.5 meters long LVM-3 (Launch Vehicle Mark-3) carrying 36 satellites of the British startup, and entered the commercial satellite launch market.
The launch took place from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. These communication satellites were placed in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) under the LVM3-M2/OneWeb India-1 mission. The LMV-3 is capable of carrying satellites up to 8,000 kg.
ISRO chairman Somnath said that there is a shortage of rockets to launch satellites in the world, in such a situation, India can bridge this gap in the global commercial satellite launch market with its LVM-3 rocket, OneWeb is a private satellite communications company and the Indian company Bharti Enterprises is a major investor and shareholder in OneWeb. He added that with this launch, LVM-3 will enter the global commercial satellite launch market.
‘LVM-3’ was earlier known as ‘GSLV Mk-3’ rocket. NewSpace India Limited, a Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) functioning under the Department of Space and the space agency’s commercial arm, has signed two launch contracts with UK-based OneWeb. OneWeb Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said the company will pay over ₹1,000 crore to ISRO/NewSpace India Ltd for launching 72 satellites. The first batch of 36 satellites was launched on Saturday-Sunday midnight by LVM-3 rocket. The other 36 satellites will be launched in January next year from the LVM-3 rocket. OneWeb plans to launch 648 satellites for its broadband services around the world.