ISRO's heaviest rocket enters global commercial service market with new mission
As the 24-hour countdown ends Saturday midnight, this project is special for more reasons than one
With the countdown already having started, the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) is set to launch 36 broadband communication satellites aboard Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3), the space agency's heaviest rocket.
As the 24-hour countdown ends Saturday midnight, this project is special for more reasons than one.
This is the first commercial mission for ISRO's heaviest launcher. Also, the payload mass of 5,796 kg would be the heaviest.
The contract between NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) - ISRO's commercial arm - and the United Kingdom-based 'OneWeb' - for the launch is said to be "a key milestone".
India's Bharti Enterprises is a major investor in OneWeb, which is a global communications network powered from space. OneWeb enables connectivity between governments, communities and businesses.
With this, the LVM3 "is making its entry into the global commercial launch service market," the space agency has said on its website.
This is also the first multi-satellite mission. Thirty-six satellites "will be placed into orbit one by one LVM3", from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota.