LMV3-2 launches 36 OneWeb satellites allowing full service

by | Mar 26, 2023 | India, Launches, Satellites, Seradata News

Having lost its access to space via Soyuz rockets after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, OneWeb turned to other launch providers. One of these was the commercial arm of ISRO which began offering the GSLV 3 – now called the LMV3 rocket.  Thus at 0430 GMT on 26 March 2023 an LVM3-2 rocket successfully launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India on a southward track. It launched 36 OneWeb satellites into a near polar 457 x 441 km orbit inclined at 87.4 degrees. All 36 spacecraft separated correctly and have been contacted. This was the second LMV3-2 flight for OneWeb.

The launch effectively completes the minimum required number of OneWeb satellites in the constellation for it to work fully – it has 618 satellites in orbit in total, according to Seradata. One of these may be inactive. Two others were launched but have now re-entered. The constellation requires a minimum of 588 of its eventually 648 satellites to be operating in low Earth orbit for a full service offering.

Track of the LMV-3 carrying 36 OneWeb satellites to orbit on 26 March 2023. Courtesy: ISRO via Jonathan McDowell/Twitter

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