INDIA: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched the country’s first privately developed rocket, Vikram-S, at 11:30 am today from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, about 115 kilometres from Chennai.
Skyroot Aerospace sets off Vikram-S to a flying start
The four-year-old start-up Skyroot Aerospace launched its Vikram-S rocket for the first time, marking the private sector’s entry into the country’s space industry, which has been dominated for decades by the state-run ISRO.
A private organization’s maiden space vehicle launch will open up new horizons for India’s space program.
Skyroot Aerospace became the first privately owned business to give wings to the Indian space program after it was opened to private companies by the Indian government in 2020.
The initial scheduled launch date of Vikram-S was November 15, 2022. However, owing to inclement weather, the launch was postponed till Friday.
Following its launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Vikram-S will ascend to an altitude of 81 kilometres. The launch vehicle has been given its name in honour of Vikram Sarabhai, the late founder of the Indian Space Program.
The space mission “Prarambh,” carried three payloads belonging to two domestic and foreign clients.
A Skyroot employee stated that the six-meter-tall rocket is one of the first all-composite rockets in the world with solid thrusters printed in three dimensions to ensure the launch vehicle’s spin stability.
During the rocket’s launch, the team demonstrated the telemetry, tracking, inertial measurement, Global Positioning System, an onboard camera, data acquisition, and power systems from the Vikram series.
The Vikram-S suborbital vehicle developed by Skyroot was approved for launch on Wednesday by India’s space regulator, IN-SPACe.
Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) Chairman Pawan Goenka congratulated Skyroot on becoming the first Indian company to receive authorization to launch a rocket.
As it would assist in testing and validating the majority of the technologies in the Vikram series of orbital-class space launch vehicles, including numerous subsystems and technologies tested before and after lift-off, today’s mission is a significant milestone for Skyroot Aerospace.
The payloads will be placed in a low-inclination orbit of about 500 kilometres by the Vikram-S launch vehicle.