India’s First Private Rocket “Vikram-S”

India is set to create history by conducting its maiden space launch headed by a private sector company. The company names Skyroot Aerospace is all set to launch its first mission with a privately-developed rocket named Vikram-S.

Skyroot Aeronautics has dubbed its maiden mission as ‘Prarambh’, where the Vikram-S launch vehicle will travel to space in a demonstration flight. The mission is expected to take place in the second week of November, between the 12th and 16th.

What makes this mission historic is that space missions in India have only been launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) till now, making Prarambh the first-ever space launch by a private company in the country. Therefore, Vikram-S is set to be launched from ISRO’s space launchpad at Sriharikota.

Skyroot Aerospace CEO and co-founder Pawan Kumar Chandana talked about the launch. He said, “A launch window between November 12 and 16 has been notified by authorities. The final date is confirmed based on weather conditions.”

All about Vikram-S and Prarambh space mission

Vikram-S is India’s first privately developed rocket and is all set to be launched as part of the Prarambh (the beginning) space mission. Vikram-S is set for a launch in a sub-orbital mission with three payloads between November 12 and 16, according to Skyroot Aerospace.

“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.

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With this mission, Skyroot is set to become the first private space company in India to launch a rocket into space. Hence, heralding a new era for the space sector which was opened up in 2020 to facilitate private-sector participation.

The Prarambh mission is aimed at carrying three payloads into space. It will include a 2.5-kilogram payload that has been developed by students from several countries. Moreover, Skyroot’s launch vehicles are named ‘Vikram’ as a tribute to the founder of the Indian space program and renowned scientist Vikram Sarabhai.

The Prarambh mission and the Vikram-S rocket were developed by the Hyderabad-based startup. It was developed with extensive support from ISRO and IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre). The launch is also set to take place from an ISRO launchpad.

Vikram’s features

As reported by PTI, Skyroot was the first startup to sign a memorandum of understanding with ISRO for launching its rockets. Its launch vehicles have been crafted especially for the small satellite market. The name ‘Vikram’ acts as a tribute to Vikram Sarabhai, founder of the Indian space program. They come in three forms, Vikram I, II, and III.

India's first private sector rocket Vikram-S to launch in November: Here's what we know - India Today

According to Skyroot, “More than 20,000 small satellites are estimated to be launched in the coming decade. The Vikram series is designed to enable this through unprecedented mass production and affordability. The leading technology architecture of Vikram vehicles offers unique capabilities like multi-orbit insertion, and interplanetary missions; while providing customized, dedicated, and ride-share options covering a wide spectrum of small satellite customer needs.”

In India

In India, ISRO is capable of launching satellites into space. The demand is fast outrunning its capacity. The space agency also has other, larger goals it needs to focus on. Therefore, the sector is being opened up to private players, with ISRO helping them with facilities and knowledge. The use of facilities can be chargeable, providing ISRO with revenue.

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