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India's first private rocket set to zip into space

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Nov 09, 2022 3:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minute

According to Hyderabad-based space firm Skyroot Aerospace, India's first privately constructed rocket, the Vikram-S, is scheduled to fly in a suborbital mission with three payloads between November 12 and 16.

Skyroot Aerospace's first mission, dubbed "Prarambh" (the beginning), is scheduled to launch from the Sriharikota launchpad of the Indian Space Research Organization and will include two Indian and one international client payload.

"A launch window between November 12 and 16 has been notified by authorities, the final date being confirmed based on weather conditions," Skyroot Aerospace CEO and co-founder Pawan Kumar Chandana said.

“We have two Indian and one foreign payloads,” Chandana stated, refusing to divulge more details. On the suborbital mission on board Vikram-S, Spacekidz, an aerospace startup located in Chennai, will launch "Fun-Sat," a 2.5 kg payload created by kids from India, the US, Singapore, and Indonesia.

“We want the children to learn about conducting experiments in space. It is a simple payload developed by grandparents with their grandchildren,” Srimathy Kesan, CEO of Spacekidz stated.

First time to fly into orbit

With this mission, Skyroot will launch a rocket into orbit for the first time as a private space business in India, ushering in a new era for the space industry, which was opened up in 2020 to allow for private sector participation.

"The Vikram-S rocket is a single-stage sub-orbital launch vehicle which would carry three customer payloads and help test and validate the majority of the technologies in the Vikram series of space launch vehicles," Naga Bharath Daka, Chief Operating Officer of Skyroot Aerospace, said in a statement.

Chandana stated that Skyroot was only able to build and launch the Vikram-S rocket in such a short period of time due to the invaluable assistance of ISRO and IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre).

Skyroot's launch vehicles are named 'Vikram' in honour of the Indian space programme's founder and renowned scientist Vikram Sarabhai.

Skyroot, based in Hyderabad, was the first startup to sign an agreement with ISRO to launch its rockets. According to the statement, it aims to disrupt entry barriers to cost-effective satellite launch services and spaceflight by advancing its mission to make spaceflights affordable, reliable, and consistent for all.

Also Read: ISRO to develop reusable rockets, asked for collaboration

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