UK-based global communication satellite company, OneWeb, of which the Bharti Airtel is the largest share-holder, has entered into an agreement with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to launch its satellites aboard its heaviest launch vehicle GSLV-MK III and also PSLV.
Reported-first by ET, OneWeb is planning to make a constellation of 650 satellites in Lower Earth Orbit (LEO) which offer internet connectivity through space, just like SpaceX’s Starlink. As of now, it has launched 322 similar satellites, and is looking to now use ISRO services to launch some more of its satellites to take its launching capabilities to next level.
This collaboration will lead OneWeb becoming the first private company to launch satellites using the ISRO’s GSLV-MK III launch vehicle. The rocket can easily carry & launch up to 10 tonnes into lower earth orbit and 4 tonnes into Geo-synchronous Transfer Orbit.
The announcement made by Sunil Bharti Mittal at the launch of Indian Space Association, “I am glad to share with all of you today that we have (OneWeb) entered into an arrangement to use the workhouse of ISRO the PSLV and importantly new rocket they are bringing out, of a very large payload capacity, GSLV MK III, to launch OneWeb satellites from Indian soil.”
Mittal concluded by stating that the OneWeb would launch its services in India in mid-2022, “ OneWeb, which has got merely 322 satellites in space, will be providing its services in the middle of next year to the whole country from oceans, deserts, forests and importantly, rural hinter-land.”