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Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s heaviest rocket LVM3-M2 lifts-off from a launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, in Sriharikota, recently. The rocket successfully placed 36 broadband communication satellites of OneWeb, on ISRO’s maiden commercial mission.

  • This mission is being undertaken as part of the commercial arrangement between New Space India Limited (NSIL) and m/s Network Access Associates Limited (m/s OneWeb Ltd), a U.K. based company.
  • OneWeb is a joint venture between India’s Bharti Enterprises and the U.K. government.
  • This is OneWeb’s 14th launch, bringing the constellation to 462 satellites. This launch represents more than 70% of its planned 648 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity worldwide.
  • The 43.5 metre LVM3 weighing around 644 tonne carried 36 satellites weighing 5,796 kg or about 5.7 tonne.

Launch Vehicle Mark III (LVM3) -M2:

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has renamed the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark -III as Launch Vehicle Mark-III, mainly to identify its task of placing satellites into a variety of orbits.
  • Launch Vehicle Mark III (LVM3) -M2 is the dedicated commercial satellite mission of New Space India Limited (NSIL), a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Department of Space, Government of India.
  • The LVM3 rocket (earlier called the Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle Mark III or GSLV-MK3) can carry up to 8 tonnes into low earth orbit (LEO-up to 1,200 km above the Earth).
  • The rocket is a three-stage launch vehicle consisting of two solid propellant S200 strap-ons on its sides and core stage comprising L110 liquid stage and C25 cryogenic stage.
  • The PSLV is much lighter and can carry between 1.4 and 1.75-tonne payloads.