ISRO successfully launches 36 satellites into orbit
By DECCAN CHRONICLE | Pathri Rajesekhar
Isro has launched 345 foreign satellites till date, and Sundays launch took the total to 381
Nellore: India’s heaviest rocket — the Launch Vehicle Mark III (LVM3)-M2 — launched its heaviest payload of 5,796 kg to space on Sunday, following a textbook launch at 12.07 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, Nellore.
The 43.5-metre 644-tonne rocket —previously called GSLV Mk3 — launched into low earth orbit (LEO), 36 broadband satellites for a UK-based customer, Network Access Associated Ltd (OneWeb). India’s Bharti Enterprises is a major investor in OneWeb.
At 12.28 am, the rocket had successfully placed eight satellites in space according to Isro.
The rocket took 19 minutes to complete the job, even as scientists cheered at the control room. Earlier, hundreds of people watched the rocket making its way to space at the head of a bright pillar of fire and smoke.
The rocket can launch 10,000 tonnes of payload into the low earth orbit.
The LVM3-M2, a three-stage rocket, is emerging as the workhorse for the larger missions: Its four previous missions have been successful. Its first two stages carry liquid fuel, and the third is the cryogenic engine. The two strap-on motors are powered by solid fuel.
The mission marks India’s entry, via NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), in the global market to launch heavier satellites.
Isro has launched 345 foreign satellites till date, and Sunday’s launch took the total to 381. Isro will launch another 36 OneWeb satellites in January next.