ISRO chairman S Somanath. (PTI)
Nellore: ISRO would put another set of 36 satellites from the UK-based OneWeb company into the low-earth orbit in January next. The UK firm has signed a contract with NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO, to pay over Rs 1,000 crore for both the launches.
ISRO chairman S Somanath stated this at a press conference after the successful launch of LVM3-M2 mission during the wee hours of Sunday at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Shar, Sriharikota.
OneWeb is a joint venture of India’s Bharti Global and the UK government.
He said the rocket’s cryogenic engine was at its best in Sunday’s mission and expressed satisfaction over the separation of all the satellites without any hitch.
OneWeb chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said this was a historic day for the Indian Space sector. "We
had placed a request to ISRO for launch of satellites a few months back and the premier space organisation carried out two launches of 36 satellites each."
ISRO has 12 to 16 launches in the pipeline, all of them OneWeb Gen2 satellites.
CMD of NSIL, D Radhakrishnan, said LVM3 has made a remarkable entry into the commercial satellite launch market. The company is planning to have a constellation of about 650 satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) to offer communication satellites and the constellation operates in the LEO Polar Orbit.
In special, ISRO top brass greeted Telecom major and Bharti Group founder Sunil Mittal Bharti as this was his birthday.
While praising ISRO for the success of LVM3 mission, AP Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan said LVM3 is known for its ability to carry heavy satellites and has accomplished the orbit very accurately on its first commercial mission.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy congratulated the ISRO team for the successful launch of LVM3-M2, the heaviest rocket, which placed 36 satellites into orbit with precision.