OneWeb Successfully Deploys 36 Satellites With ISRO for Global Connectivity

The launch 18 lift-off took place on Sunday, 26 March 2023, at 9:00 am Indian Standard Time (IST). OneWeb's satellites separated successfully from the rocket and were dispensed in nine phases over a period of 1 hour and 14 minutes, with the signal acquisition on all 36 satellites confirmed.

Highlights

  • OneWeb's successful Launch 18 brings the constellation to 618 satellites in orbit.
  • Significant step towards delivering global services, as the OneWeb constellation crosses milestone for global coverage.
  • LVM3 launch vehicle success demonstrates India's leading position in the commercial launch service market.

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OneWeb Successfully Deploys 36 Satellites With ISRO for Global Connectivity

OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company backed by Bharti Group, today confirmed the successful deployment and contact of 36 satellites launched by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC-SHAR) in Sriharikota, India. This launch is OneWeb's eighteenth to date, and the LEO satellite company is all set for its Global footprint this year.




Also Read: OneWeb Launch 17 Successfully Deploys 40 Satellites With SpaceX

OneWeb Launch 18

The launch 18 lift-off took place on Sunday, 26 March 2023, at 9:00 am Indian Standard Time (IST). OneWeb's satellites separated successfully from the rocket and were dispensed in nine phases over a period of 1 hour and 14 minutes, with the signal acquisition on all 36 satellites confirmed. The satellite separation confirmation of 16 satellites in the visible region happened initially, followed by the rest of the 20 satellites.

OneWeb constellation now 618 satellites strong

Launch 18 brings the total OneWeb constellation to 618 satellites and is also the third launch this year. Launch 17 and the third with SpaceX brought OneWeb's constellation count to 582 satellites. The OneWeb constellation was designed to include 588 satellites for global coverage, and additional satellites will are planned for resiliency and redundancy.

OneWeb Global coverage

With successful launch 18, the constellation required for Global coverage is in place, and OneWeb will soon be able to deliver global services. By the year-end, OneWeb will roll out global coverage, enhancing its existing connectivity solutions already active in regions north of 50 degrees latitude while partnering with leading providers to bring new areas online.

Also Read: OneWeb Successfully Deploys 40 Satellites With SpaceX- Launch 16

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Executive Chairman of OneWeb, said: "In my work, I have seen the power of connectivity to bring benefits to all, wherever they are. Yet half the world's population does not have access to fast, reliable connectivity. Today's launch represents a major step towards closing the digital divide. OneWeb's global constellation will play a pivotal role in realising this dream.

"I am particularly proud that OneWeb has crossed the threshold to be able to provide its global coverage in India, a country whose ambitions in enhancing Space-based connectivity are being driven by New Space India and ISRO. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Government of India's target to significantly expand access to high-speed internet connectivity is vital, and OneWeb is grateful for all the support and is delighted to be playing its part. Overall, this is an incredibly exciting time for the satellite connectivity industry, and I am delighted that the UK and India are at the forefront of developments."

"I would like to thank colleagues, our partners, vendors, investors and customers who have realised the potential of OneWeb and made this launch possible. I am incredibly excited for the future of OneWeb and the opportunity its connectivity services provide to communities globally."

Also Read: Veon and OneWeb Partner to Deliver Extended Connectivity

Somanath S, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, ISRO, commented: "This launch is very important milestone for ISRO as we demonstrated the successful launch of second consecutive commercial payload of OneWeb. This valued customer trusted our capability and we have proved it in a very short span of time. This launch has created a new record in the Indian space history. With this launch of LVM3, through the New Space India, ISRO is confident of handling many more such launches on demand for both LEO and GEO mission in the future. I wish OneWeb a great success in globalizing the completed constellation.

Radhakrishnan D, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, NewSpace India Limited, said: "Successful injection of 36 OneWeb Gen-1 satellites from UK by LVM3 today, is an extremely proud moment for NSIL and the entire ISRO fraternity. NSIL, would like to thank OneWeb for believing in our capabilities and giving us this important opportunity to undertake the mission. We are doubly happy, as this mission would mark the accomplishment of full constellation and commencement of commercial broadband services globally by OneWeb. NSIL look forward to be associated with OneWeb not only in the area of providing Launch solutions but also in several other business endeavours that would benefit both companies. We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the entire OneWeb's technical and management team."

Also Read: OneWeb and Intelsat Demonstrate Hybrid Inflight Connectivity

UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan said: "The completion of the LEO constellation is hugely significant both for OneWeb and the UK's wider sector."

"We invested in OneWeb's vision to bridge the global digital divide, and our burgeoning space sector is transforming the UK into the perfect base for like-minded companies to realise their stratospheric potential.

Neil Masterson, Chief Executive of OneWeb, added: "This is the most significant milestone in the history of OneWeb, as we reach the satellites needed for global coverage. Over several years we have remained focused on our commitment to deliver coverage solutions for the customers and communities that need it most. With today's satellite deployment, facilitated by our expert team and our partners at ISRO and NSIL, we are realising this central ambition.

"I would like to pay tribute to all of my colleagues at OneWeb who have driven our rapid momentum and progress over recent years. It is thanks to them that we will be able to deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity around the world later this year."

Also Read: OneWeb and Kazakhstan National Railways Sign MoU for LEO Satellite Connectivity

OneWeb's Second Deployment with India

This mission marks OneWeb's second satellite deployment from India, highlighting the strong partnership with NSIL and ISRO and OneWeb's commitment to delivering connectivity across the length and breadth of India. Once activated, OneWeb's coverage solutions would provide secure connectivity to enterprises, towns, villages, municipalities, and schools, including the most remote areas across the country.

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