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Much more rides on India's Bahubali rocket than 36 OneWeb satellites

India’s heavy lift rocket the about 640 ton Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII (GSLV MkIII) was nicknamed as ‘Bahubali’ when it flew with the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft.

On Sunday, the rocket renamed as LVM3 M2 will on a historic mission of carrying 36 OneWeb satellites weighing about six ton to sling them in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

This is the first time the rocket is being used to carry foreign satellites. All these years the GSLV MkIII rocket was used to carry India’s communication satellite and other payloads.

After the recent failures of ISRO — the Small Satelite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) failed on its maiden launch and similarly, a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) mission too failed.

Apart from the OneWeb satellites, a lot more will be riding on LVM3 rocket on Sunday.

ISRO Chairman and Secretary, Department of Space S. Somanath told IANS that with LVM3 rocket India can fill the vacant slot in the global market catering to the companies launching constellation of satellites.

ISRO wiil also launch another set of 36 OneWeb satellites inA 2023.

Further contracts will depend on how ISRO executes the two OneWeb contracts, Somanath added.

The Indian space agency officials are hoping that ‘Bahubali’ will deliver the satellites in the space and the Diwali will be a happy one.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at v.jagannathsn@ians.in)

–IANS<br>vj/ksk/

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