OneWeb inks pact with ISRO rockets for satellite launches


Photo source: PTI / Representative (file).

OneWeb has signed an agreement with ISRO Rocket to launch the satellite.

Highlights

  • OneWeb will launch a satellite from the Indian Space Research Organization’s rocket
  • OneWeb is an Indo-UK joint venture satellite communications company
  • The deal will help ensure that OneWeb completes its satellite launch activities

OneWeb, an Indo-UK joint venture satellite communications company, said on Thursday (April 21st) that it would launch its satellites using Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) rockets.

In a statement, OneWeb, a joint venture between Bharat Bharati Global and the UK government, said that an agreement to this effect had been signed with Newsspace India Limited, the commercial arm of ISRO.

The deal will help ensure that OneWeb completes its satellite launch program, the company said.

The first launch with New Space India is expected in 2022 from Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.

The launches will add to OneWeb’s total of 428 satellites in orbit, accounting for 66 percent of the total fleet planned, to create a worldwide network that will provide high-speed, low-latency connectivity.

“This is another historic day in space cooperation, thanks to the joint ambition and vision of NewSpace India and OneWeb. This recent launch planning agreement adds considerable momentum to the development of OneWeb’s network as we work together across space. Industry, “said Sunil Bharti Mittal, executive chairman of OneWeb

The launch deal follows a separate agreement between OneWeb and SpaceX to enable the company to resume satellite launches, announced in March 2022.

OneWeb plans to place a constellation of 650 satellites in low-Earth orbit to provide communications services.

Other terms of the agreement with New Space India are confidential.

The statement on how many satellites will be launched into orbit using OneWeb ISRO rockets is silent.

Aerospace experts had earlier told IANS that US and European economic sanctions against Russia for the war against Ukraine could throw economic opportunities for the Indian space sector instead of understanding the economic costs.

They further said that to cash in on the opportunities, India should accelerate its satellite launch capability and announce productivity-linked incentive (PLI) schemes for the space sector.

“Countries that are feeling the pinch due to the absence of Russian rockets for satellite launches may look at alternatives. Although the lion’s share of satellite launch agreements will be taken by the United States and Europe, there will be others who can look at other options. India’s neutrality has created a new market segment.” Chaitanya Giri, founder, Dawn Advisory and Intelligence, told news agency IANS.

“Indo-UK joint venture OneWeb did not take advantage of the Indian opportunity. ISRO may offer to launch OneWeb’s satellite with its GSLV rocket.”

The board of OneWeb has voted to suspend the launch of the satellite from the rocket port of Baikonur in Russia.

The terms of the agreement with New Space India have not been disclosed.

(With agency input)

Also Read: Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter Solar Proton Event, Detects Coronal Mass Emission: ISRO

Read more: In 2022 ISRO successfully orbited 3 satellites in its first launch mission

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