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OneWeb ships 36 satellites to India, eyes early March launch

Global communications network OneWeb on Wednesday shipped its second tranche of 36 satellites to Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh for launch in early March on board ISRO’s Launch Vehicle Mark-III.

“Our satellites have now been loaded ahead of our upcoming launch with ISRO. This is the final time we will load up an Antonov aircraft with our satellites for Gen-1, demonstrating how close we are to truly global connectivity. Bon voyage, satellites,” OneWeb said on Twitter.

“… and 36 OneWeb satellites are leaving the OneWeb Satellite Factory… destination India,” Massimiliano Ladovaz, Chief Technology Officer, OneWeb tweeted.

“Targeting early March,” he said to a question on the launch date.

With the launch of 40 satellites on board SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket, OneWeb now has 542 satellites in low earth orbits, which comprises more than 80 per cent of its first-generation constellation.

After the Ukraine-Russia conflict, OneWeb had to forgo a launch scheduled aboard Roscosmos’ Soyuz rocket and the contract was subsequently bagged by ISRO to put 72 satellites in orbit in two missions.

The first set of 36 satellites was launched by ISRO’s LVM-3 on October 22 last year and a follow up launch is scheduled for sometime in March.

After the satellites reach Sriharikota, they will be integrated with the LVM-3.

OneWeb has planned a constellation of 648 satellites to provide high-speed, low latency connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities everywhere around the world. PTI

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