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OneWeb satellites arrive in India ahead of launch

The satellites will be put into orbit by the ISRO rocket, the GSLV-MkIII, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

OneWeb has reported the arrival of 36 satellites at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC- SHAR) in advance of a planned launch from Sriharikota, India.

With this launch, OneWeb will have more than 70% of the firm’s planned Gen 1 LEO constellation on-orbit as the company progresses to deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity services around the world.

OneWeb has partnered with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) — to facilitate this launch. The launch will be the company’s 14th overall and the satellites will be placed into orbit by the heaviest ISRO rocket, the GSLV-MkIII.

One additional launch will take place this year and three more are targeted for early next year to complete the OneWeb constellation.

OneWeb resumes its launch programme with leading partners in the Satcom industry and the company’s services are already available in Alaska, Canada, the UK, and the Arctic region.

India’s Bharti Enterprises, a major investor and shareholder in OneWeb, this year announced a distribution partnership with Hughes Communications India Private Ltd. (HCIPL). OneWeb will connect towns, villages and local and regional municipalities in the hardest-to-reach areas, thereby playing a critical role in bridging the digital divide across India.

Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb, said: “OneWeb’s dedication to industry collaboration has allowed us to successfully navigate the ever-changing global environment and prepare for yet another milestone launch. We are proud of our ability to adapt and remain on track to deliver global connectivity in the hardest-to-reach places. With many thanks to our top-of-the-line partners ISRO and NSIL, as well as our shareholder Bharti Global for their continued stewardship, we were able to facilitate this upcoming pioneering launch in Sriharikota, India.”

Radhakrishnan D, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, NewSpace India Limited, added: “Undertaking the launch of 36 OneWeb satellites on-board GSLV-MkIII from India is a historic moment for NSIL and ISRO. We are excited to see the arrival of the satellites and the ground support equipment in India in preparation for the launch. Teams at NSIL/ ISRO are sincerely working towards providing the best of the launch service solutions and support for OneWeb satellites, and we wish their teams great success in their forthcoming activities at SDSC-SHAR and launch.”