ISRO's heaviest rocket successfully places 36 OneWeb satellites into orbits in first commercial flight
In order to solidify its position in the worldwide market for commercial satellite launches, India's space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched 36 satellites using its biggest rocket just after midnight on Sunday. The rocket successfully placed 36 OneWeb satellites into orbits, confirmed ISRO.
These satellites are owned by the London-based communications company OneWeb, in which India's Bharti Enterprises is a significant shareholder, and were launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on the rocket LVM3.
In June 2017, ISRO launched 31 tiny satellites, many of which were for European countries, as part of its earlier plan to become a global low-cost provider of space services.
It's the first commercial satellite launch for the LVM3 rocket. The central government-owned corporation NewSpace India Limited, also known as NSIL, and the London-based enterprise signed the agreement.
“Another set of 36 OneWeb satellites will be launched by the LVM3 in the first half of next year,” an NSIL executive told news agency PTI.
The newest and heaviest rocket produced by the Indian space agency is capable of launching satellites that weigh four tonnes, or almost as much as a huge flatbed truck.
India launched an orbiter to Mars in 2014 for just $74 million, compared to NASA's $671 million expenditure for the MAVEN Mars mission.