Amit Shah hails successful launch of broadband satellites

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Calling it a “historic day for India’s space programme”, Union Home Minister Amit Shah hailed the successful launch of the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) heaviest rocket on Sunday. with 36 OneWeb satellites.

On the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday at 00:07 a.m., ISRO launched 36 communications satellites on its heaviest rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The Home Secretary called it a moment when India entered a new era of self-reliance with the successful launch of its heaviest rocket LVM3.

“A landmark day for the Indian space program! India has entered a new era of self-sufficiency with the successful launch of its heaviest rocket LVM3, with 36 OneWeb satellites on board, Congratulations to our scientists and the entire team,” Shah wrote in a tweet.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated ISRO and said the launch exemplifies Atmanirbharta and boosts India’s competitive advantage in the global commercial launch services market.

“Congratulations NSIL, IN-SPACE, ISRO on the successful launch of our heaviest launch vehicle LVM3 with 36 OneWeb satellites for global connectivity. LVM3 exemplifies Atmanirbharta and enhances India’s competitive advantage in the global market for commercial launch,” PM Modi tweeted.

ISRO President S Somanath held a special pooja on Saturday morning at Sri Chengalamma Parameshwari Devi Temple at Sullurpeta in Tirupati district for the successful launch of the GSLV Mark-3 rocket.

ISRO’s LVM3 rocket will carry 36 satellites from a private communications company OneWeb, Somanath said earlier Saturday night.

“A 24-hour countdown to launch has begun. Another set of 36 OneWeb satellites will be launched from LVM3 in the first half of next year,” he said.
“The GSLV Mark-3 rocket countdown process will continue. The GSLV Mark-3 rocket will launch from the second launch pad at 00:07 midnight today. GSLV Mark-3 is launched with 36 satellites in the first phase as part of the 108-satellite agreement with the UK. Thirty-six satellites are purely for communications. The PSLV and SLV rockets will be tested this year,” he added.
“16 out of 36 satellites have been successfully separated safely, and the remaining 20 satellites will be separated,” he said.

“We have already started the (Diwali) celebration. 16 out of 36 satellites successfully separated safely, and the remaining 20 satellites will be separated. The data will come a bit later and the observation operation is ongoing,” the ISRO president said after the launch.

Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this milestone, S Somanath said, “This is a historic mission. This was possible thanks to the support of PM Modi as he wanted LVM3 to enter the commercial market, with NSIL at the forefront, to operationalize our launchers to explore and expand the commercial domain.

Meanwhile, Somanath said ISRO will likely launch its Chandrayan-3 mission in June next year.

Addressing a press conference after the launch of 36 communication satellites, Somanath told reporters that the Chandrayaan-3 mission is almost ready for launch in June next year.

“Chandrayaan-3 is almost ready. Final integration and testing is almost complete. Still, more tests are pending, so we want to do that a bit later. There were two slots available one in February and another in June. We would like to take the June (2023) slot for the launch,” he said.

NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a central public sector enterprise under the Ministry of Space, had previously signed two launch service contracts with OneWeb, backed by Bharti, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company.

(With ANI entries)

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