India’s heaviest rocket yet, has successfully launched into orbits along with 36 OneWeb satellites attached to it.
After a long period of delays due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced that their rockets successfully launched 36 internet satellites for the UK-based satellite company OneWeb.
The ISRO declared the mission successful early on Sunday, as part of a commercial agreement between New Space India Limited and OneWeb.
“This is the first-ever commercial launch of the new rocket LVM3 [Launch Vehicle Mark 3],” ISRO Chairman Sreedhara Panicker Somanath said as liftoff took place at 12:07am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh.
ISRO scientists renamed the spacecraft from GSLV-MKK III to its current name since the latest rocket can launch a total of 4,000 kilogram class satellites into geostationary transfer orbit and 8,000 kilogram payloads into low Earth orbit. Additionally, each of the satellites within the rocket weighs approximately 150 kg, which is 330 pounds when converted.
The GSLV-Mk III has successfully completed a total of four missions. The LVM3-M2 is a three-stage spacecraft with two solid propellant S200 strap-ons on its sides as well as a core stage with an L110 liquid stage and then a C25 cryogenic stage. OneWeb Limited is actually a global communication network that's powered by space that allows both governments and businesses to access the internet.
This was the 14th launch of OneWeb satellites, and it used India's heaviest rocket, which is reserved exclusively for government spacecraft. Three years ago, OneWeb launched their first satellite into orbit. It was OneWeb's most recent launch since splitting with the Russian Space Agency back in March due to the war crimes they have committed against Ukraine.
According to Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, a director specializing in space and security at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, the liftoff is significant for India and needs to reflect the country's unveiling of its space agency to private clients.
In 2014, India launched an orbiter to Mars for just $74 million, compared to NASA's $671 million investment in the MAVEN Mars mission. Talk about cost efficiency right?