February 8, 2023

ISRO paid over Rs 1,000 crore by OneWeb to take 72 satellites into orbits

Source – DNA

Network Access Associated Ltd (OneWeb), located in the United Kingdom, has announced that it would pay the Indian space agency ISRO more than Rs 1,000 crore to launch its 72 satellites. The Indian Space Research Organisation is scheduled to launch 36 commercial OneWeb broadband satellites from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh at 12:07 am on October 23. An additional LVM3 rocket from the Indian Space Research Organisation will be used to launch 36 satellites by OneWeb in January.
OneWeb’s merger with Eutelsat Communications, a French satellite business, will likely be finalised in April or May of 2023, he said. The company OneWeb will be wholly owned by Eutelsat Communications.

When asked how much his business would spend to have 72 satellites launched, OneWeb Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal told reporters in India that it would be more than Rs 1,000 crore.

In January, OneWeb will launch 36 satellites using another LVM3 rocket from ISRO.

To provide its internet services worldwide, OneWeb wants to launch 648 satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO).

“Nearly 10 per cent of OneWeb`s satellites will be launched by ISRO,” said Shravin Mittal, Managing Director, Bharti Global.

When asked whether talks are on to have ISRO provide its Gen2 satellites, Sunil Mittal confirmed that they are. As a potential replacement for some of its satellites in orbit, OneWeb will investigate the use of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

When asked whether the plan to combine OneWeb with Eutelsat Communications would result in any modifications to the constellation arrangement, OneWeb’s Chief Technology Officer Massimiliano Ladovaz replied that the constellation configuration for the company’s Gen1 satellites will remain unchanged.

In addition, Ladovaz said that the RFQ for Gen2 satellite production will be released before the year’s end. ISRO and OneWeb representatives met on Saturday to explore the latter’s potential involvement.

Business-to-business broadband connectivity from OneWeb, as promised by CEO Sunil Mittal by the middle of next year, will be available, he says.

When questioned about rivals, he suggested three or four satellite constellations would be sufficient to serve the market.

When asked whether the addition of three or four constellations, each containing hundreds of satellites, would add to the space debris problem, Ladovaz stated that the OneWeb spacecraft were built in such a way that they would not become junk.

(With Inputs from IANS)

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