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  • Writer's picturesatyavrat singh

India on track for OneWeb launch in second half of October

Tampa, Florida The second part of October is when India aims to launch OneWeb satellites for the first time in eight months, the Indian space agency ISRO announced on October 5.

The upper stage of India's GSLV Mark 3 medium-lift rocket will soon be combined with 36 satellites for the British broadband firm, according to ISRO.

The satellites, which were shipped from a facility in Florida to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India last month, have already been put together into a dispenser unit after passing health inspections.

The dispenser was created by Beyond Gravity, a Swiss company, and serves as a conduit between the satellites and the rocket (formerly RUAG Space).

In addition, Beyond Gravity supplied Arianespace with dispensers, which it utilized to launch 428 of OneWeb's planned 648 satellites with Soyuz.

As a result of sanctions related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Western corporations were virtually prohibited from utilizing Russian rockets, forcing Arianespace to cease the deployment of OneWeb's constellation.

Originally scheduled to launch from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 4, OeWeb's prior batch of 36 satellites was postponed due to Russian restrictions.

As a result of deteriorating ties between nations, the British operator later halted all additional Soyuz missions.

The dispenser used for OneWeb's Soyuz launches required "just a small change," according to Paul Horstink, executive vice president of Beyond Gravity's launcher division.

On an Indian rocket, "this will be the first flight of a dispenser from us," he continued.

The launch will take place from one of the two launchpads at Satish Dhawan Space Centre that can support orbital missions, according to New Space India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO.

The settlement agreement between Arianespace and OneWeb was announced on September 13; as a result, Arianespace will support subsequent launches, including satellite dispenser services from India.

In order to provide the operator with global coverage, NSIL and SpaceX have inked agreements for two and three OneWeb launches, respectively, that are expected to be completed before the end of spring 2023.

Edited by: Satyavrat Singh

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