OneWeb-NewSpace India Partnership

OneWeb’s 36 Gen 1 low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites will be launched aboard ISRO’s GSLV-Mk III.

Key facts

  • In April 2022, the London-based satellite communications satellite company OneWeb entered into a partnership with the NewSpace India Limited – the commercial arm of ISRO.
  • As part of this deal, the 14th launch of the company’s LEO satellites will take place aboard GSLV-Mk III – the Indian space agency’s heaviest rocket.
  • The satellites will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota.

OneWeb Satellite Constellation

The OneWeb satellite constellation is a proposed network of Gen 1 low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites that will provide high data throughput, low latency and global internet coverage. The satellites will remain close to the Earth’s surface at an altitude of less than 1,000 km. the first 6 of these satellites were launched in 2019 off the coast of French Guiana aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. The latest launch involved 34 satellites lifting off to the orbit in February 2022. With this, there are a total of 428 OneWeb satellites in space. 66 per cent of the network has been completed after this launch. OneWeb was planning to launch satellites in March from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, a launch site leased by Russia. However, it was postponed because of Ukraine war. OneWeb is expected to complete setting up the global broadband internet service by the end of 2023.

About NSIL

NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) is ISRO’s commercial arm that was incorporated in March 2019. It comes under the aegis of the Indian Government’s Department of Space (DOS). Its purpose is to realize business demands in the space sector. These include building indigenous launch vehicles through collaborations with Indian firms, transferring technology, providing launch services, satellite building and other ground services as well as satellite-based services. Its main objective is to make India a high-technology manufacturing hub for space-related initiatives.

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