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Another batch of OneWeb satellites has arrived in India, ready for flight

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In Science and Space: OneWeb announced on September 20 that 36 of its newest broadband satellites have arrived in India ahead of plans to launch next month on India’s largest rocket.

The mission will be the first commercial launch using the GSLV Mark 3 for ISRO’s NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).

The British startup expects the commercial arm of Indian space agency ISRO to launch the satellite on her GSLV Mark 3 rocket in October, said OneWeb spokeswoman Amanda Boateng.

OneWeb’s satellite flew on a Ukrainian Antonov cargo plane from its Florida manufacturing facility to Satish Her Dhawan Space Center in India.

OneWeb moved to India and SpaceX to launch the remaining satellites needed to provide global services. This is due by the end of spring 2023, with five missions for him. OneWeb says it has one more launch planned for this year, with three more planned for early next year to complete the constellation.

Arianespace announced on Sept. 13 that it will support his upcoming OneWeb launches, including satellite dispenser services for his two missions operated by NewSpace India Limited. The French company, which plans a second-generation Constellation, said it had reached an agreement that could allow him to revive its launch services deal with OneWeb.

The GSLV Mark 3, which last launched in 2019, can lift about 9,000 kilograms to her LEO, comparable to the Soyuz rockets that deployed 34 to 36 of her OneWeb satellites simultaneously. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket can deliver about 22,800 kilograms to LEO. OneWeb has not disclosed which SpaceX rockets he plans to use, how many satellites will be launched per mission, or the specific timeframes for those missions.

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OneWeb’s satellites are built by a joint venture between the operator and Airbus called OneWeb Satellites.
In his Sept. 14 interview during World Satellite Business Week in Paris, Jean-Marc Nasr, head of space division at Airbus Defense and Space, said OneWeb needed to complete the constellation. All satellites have been manufactured and are awaiting deployment. After the sanctions, OneWeb Satellites switched from Fakel’s electric propulsion system imported from Russia to a propulsion system from US-based Busek Co., he said. A set of 36 OneWeb satellites that Arianespace had planned to launch from Kazakhstan in March were left stranded after the mission was canceled.

OneWeb recently disclosed a $229 million penalty for these satellites and the cancelled Soyuz launch contract this year.

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