Why did Isro choose to launch OneWeb using the GSLV Mk-III as LVM-3?

OneWeb’s broadband constellation, which will consist of 36 satellites, is now undergoing final preparations for launch by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro). On a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-III, the 36 satellites will be sent into orbit. A little adjustment has been made, though.

From GSLV Mk-III, Isro has changed the launch vehicle’s designation to LVM-3. Although it is common practise to change a launcher’s name, India has never done so. LVM-3 stands for Launch Vehicle Mark 3.

The client payloads will be deployed in Low Earth Orbit on October 23 at 12:07 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota aboard the LVM-3, which has been moved to the launch pad. It is LVM3’s first specifically designed commercial launch, which is being carried out on demand by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL). The rocket will not launch satellites into geosynchronous orbit, which is the only reason the name of the vehicle was changed from GSLV to LVM. The OneWeb satellites are in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which is 1,200 kilometres above the Earth.

On the other hand, the geosynchronous orbit is situated 35,786 kilometres above the equator of the planet. It has a prograde, low inclination, and period of 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 seconds around Earth. Even though it may appear to move north and south, a spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit appears to stay above Earth at a constant longitude.

Two solid strap-on boosters and a liquid core stage that have been integrated at the second launch pad are the components of the GSLV-Mk-III that have been configured to deploy the satellites in LEO. The LVM-3 is 43.5 metres in height with a 4-meter diameter and is capable of lifting off with 640 tonnes of payload.

The vehicle’s cryogenic stage enables it to launch large payloads into Low Earth Orbits at an altitude of 600 km, as well as four-ton GSAT series satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbits. Two Vikas engines created and developed at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Center power the L110 liquid stage.

The car had already received the LVM-3 designation from Isro. As it launched into space in 2014 with the Crew module Atmospheric Reentry Experiment (CARE), the GSLV-Mk-III was also known as LVM-3.

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