India’s heaviest rocket is ready for launch at the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India.
British business OneWeb has recommenced its plans to build an internet satellite in low earth orbit, despite experiencing a frustrating setback earlier in the year.
Following the need to suspend its launch on the Russian Soyuz rocket, the British firm launched its 36 Internet satellites on Saturday with the giant rocket in India. Its Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) GSLV Mark III rocket launched on the Satish Dhawan Space Center in India at 2:37 p.m. ET. The launch of the first commercial payload launched by the 143-foot tall (43.5 meters) rocket was reported by the Indian Economic Times.
The 36 satellites have been operational for a total of 36, the number of satellites up to 462 of its 648 satellites, OneWeb announced on Sunday. The company plans to operate the entire constellation by the middle of 2023. “Saturday’s launch is an important moment in the history of OneWeb,” Sunil Bharti Mittal, the chief executive officer of OneWeb, stated in an announcement.”This new phase of our program to launch for India represents a significant step closer to increasing our coverage globally and providing connectivity to India and South Asia, particularly to those communities who need it most.”
The company had to stop its launch of satellites for internet use in March after announcing the end of its agreement with Russia’s agency for space Roscosmos. They had previously used Russia’s Soyuz rocket to launch satellites, and the contract was declined after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In retaliation to the Western sanctions against Russia, Roscosmos refused to launch OneWeb’s satellites until the company accepted an agreed-upon listing of requirements. OneWeb disagreed, which led Russia to lock up the satellites of the company’s 36 and place them in the warehouse at Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
OneWeb was left to locate alternative routes in low earth orbit. It signed agreements with its Internet satellite competitor SpaceX and India’s space agency, ISRO, for the six launch launches needed for its first-generation satellites.
As with SpaceX, along with similar to SpaceX and its Starlink technology, OneWeb is building a satellite constellation in low earth orbit, which is designed to provide internet connectivity around the globe until 2023. The company’s recent conflict with Roscosmos caused a significant setback to its plans, which resulted in OneWeb suffering a loss of $229million because of the canceled Soyuz launches and the 36 satellites kept by Russia. However, OneWeb appears to be back on track with plans to launch a new set of 36 satellites in January 2023.