ISRO’s heaviest rocket, LVM3, will launch 36 satellites in its first-ever commercial launch on October 23

ISRO OneWeb Launch: Previously known as the GSLV Mk III or Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III, the LVM3 or Launch Vehicle Mark 3 is ISRO’s biggest rocket. On October 23, at 00:07 IST, the “LVM3 – M2/OneWeb India-1 Mission” is set to launch (midnight of October 22)

On October 23, ISRO’s largest rocket LVM3 will launch 36 broadband satellites for the British startup OneWeb from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh, launching the launcher into the world market for commercial launch services.

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) was the previous name for ISRO’s largest rocket, the LVM3 or Launch Vehicle Mark 3.

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The launch of the “LVM3 – M2/OneWeb India-1 Mission” is planned for October 23 at 0007 IST (midnight on October 22), according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which has its headquarters in Bengaluru.

“Cryo stage, equipment bay (EB) assembly completed. Satellites are encapsulated and assembled in the vehicle. Final vehicle checks are in progress,” it said.

ISRO announced earlier this month that Network Access Associates Limited (OneWeb), based in the UK, had signed two launch service contracts with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a central public sector enterprise (CPSE) under the Department of Space and the commercial arm of the space agency, for the purpose of launching OneWeb LEO (low earth orbit) broadband communication satellites on-board ISRO’s LVM3.

“It is the first LVM3-dedicated commercial launch on demand through NSIL,” ISRO had said.

“This contract with M/s OneWeb is a historic milestone for NSIL and ISRO, as LVM3, is making its entry into the global commercial launch service market,” it had said.

The most recent rocket can place satellites in the four-ton class into geosynchronous transfer orbits (GTO).

LVM3 is a three-stage rocket that consists of a cryogenic stage, a liquid propellant core stage, and two solid motor strap-ons.

OneWeb’s largest shareholder and investor is Bharti Enterprises of India.