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Thirty-six OneWeb broadband spacecraft took to the skies and then accurately orbited at 00:07 on October 23, Indian Standard Time, using India's most powerful rocket from the Satish Space Center Dhavana in Sriharikota.
This mission was OneWeb's first since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which also changed the field of space flight. This was the second combat flight of the GSLV Mark III and the first of its kind commercial multi-satellite mission of an Indian rocket, which was observed by New Space India Limited (NSIL), the commercial division of ISRO.
OneWeb plans to create a constellation of 648 broadband satellites . To date, 426 spacecraft have already entered orbit, all of them installed with the help of Russian Soyuz rockets used by the French company Arianespace. But the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, forced OneWeb to break off this partnership and look for other spacecraft.
OneWeb announced in March that it had signed a contract to launch satellites with SpaceX, and a month later – about a similar deal with New Space India Limited (NSIL). The terms of these transactions – the cost and number of missions associated with them – were not disclosed.
Yesterday's launch was the first under contract with NSIL, and in less than two hours, all 36 OneWeb satellites were successfully launched into their intended orbits.
“All of our satellites successfully separated, and now we are waiting, confirmation of contact with all our spacecraft”, – wrote OneWeb in a Twitter update.
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