Bharti group-backed OneWeb and NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), have entered into an agreement that will help ensure OneWeb completes its satellite launch programme, a statement said on Thursday.
The first launch with NewSpace India is expected in 2022 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. The launches will add to low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications firm OneWeb's total in-orbit constellation of 428 satellites — 66 percent of the planned total fleet — to build a global network that will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity. Announcing the pact for the satellite launch programme with NewSpace India, OneWeb, in the statement, said it remains on track for developing its satellite constellation network, delivering industry-grade secure connectivity.
"This is yet another historic day for collaboration in space, thanks to the shared ambition and vision of NewSpace India and OneWeb. "This most recent agreement on launch plans adds considerable momentum to the development of OneWeb's network, as we work together across the Space industry toward our common goal of connecting communities globally," Sunil Bharti Mittal, OneWeb executive chairman, said.
This launch contract follows a separate agreement announced in March 2022 between OneWeb and SpaceX to enable the company to resume satellite launches.
"OneWeb has already activated service with its network at the 50th parallel and above, as demand for the company's broadband connectivity services continues to grow from multiple sectors and markets," the company said.
The terms of the agreement with NewSpace India were not disclosed.