The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will for the first time commercially launch 36 broadband communication satellites on board the space agency's heaviest rocket launch vehicle LVM3-M2. With the countdown beginning early today at the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh, the 43.5 m tall rocket is scheduled to lift off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 12.07 AM tomorrow.
Speciality of Isro launch vehicle LVM3-M2
The LVM3-M2 is a heavy-duty launch vehicle with the ability to carry satellites weighing up to 8,000 kg. The LVM3-M2's mission tomorrow is the maiden dedicated commercial mission for NewSpace India Ltd, the commercial arm of Isro.
Isro says that the mission will carry the heaviest payloads with 36 satellites of OneWeb, becoming the first Indian rocket with a payload of 5,796 kg.
The launch is also the first for LVM3-M2 to place the satellites in a low earth orbit or LEO (up to 1,200 km above the earth) unlike a geosynchronous transfer orbit or GTO (up to 42,000 km above our planet).
Isro scientists have renamed the launch vehicle LVM3-M2 from GSLV-MK III, keeping in mind the newest rocket's capability of launching 4,000 kg class satellites into GTO and 8,000 kg of payloads into LEO.
The LVM3-M2 mission would give a boost to the space agency's commercial efforts and mark its entry into the global commercial launch service market.
LVM3-M2 is a three-stage launch vehicle comprising two solid propellants S200 strap-ons on its sides and a core stage comprising the L110 liquid stage and C25 cryogenic stage.