The heaviest rocket LVM3 of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch 36 satellites of British start-up OneWeb Broadband Communication Satellites from the spaceport in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota on October 23, 2022. It will mark the the launcher’s entry into the global commercial launch service market.
What The ISRO Said:
- “This contract with M/s OneWeb is a historic milestone for NSIL and ISRO, as LVM3 is making its entry into the Global commercial launch service market. As part of the Contract, 36 satellites will be placed into orbit by one LVM3, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre,” ISRO had said.
- “Cryo stage, equipment bay (EB) assembly completed. Satellites are encapsulated and assembled in the vehicle. Final vehicle checks are in progress,” it said.
Commercial Arm of the ISRO:
- New Space India Limited (NSIL), a CPSE under the Department of Space and the commercial arm of the ISRO, has signed two launch service contracts with M/s Network Access Associated Limited (M/s OneWeb), United Kingdom, for launching OneWeb LEO Broadband Communication Satellites on board ISRO’s heaviest launcher LVM3.
ISRO’s Launch Vehicles:
- For Lower Earth Orbits:
- Several satellites need to be deposited only in the lower earth orbits, which starts from about 180 km from earth’s surface and extends up to 2,000 km.
- Most of the earth-observation satellites, communication satellites, and even the International Space Station, a full-fledged laboratory in space that hosts astronauts, function in this space.
- It takes a smaller amount of energy to take the satellites to low-earth orbits, and accordingly smaller, less powerful, rockets are used for this purpose.
- For Higher Orbits:
- There are other satellites which need to go much deeper in space.
- Geostationary satellites, for example, have to be deposited in orbits that are about 36,000 km from earths’ surface.
- The planetary exploration missions also need their rockets to leave them much deeper in space.
- For such space missions, much more powerful rockets are used.
- In general, there is a trade-off between the weight of the satellite that needs to be launched, and the distance it needs to be taken to. The same rocket can take smaller satellites much deeper into space compared to a heavier satellite.