India’s first private rocket set to be launched on November 18
India’s first private rocket set to be launched on November 18 | PTI Photo / ISRO
Indian Space Research Organisation is all set for the maiden launch of the country’s first privately developed rocket “Vikram-S” by space startup Skyroot Aerospace on November 18 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
Skyroot Aerospace has become the first private space company in India giving wings to the space programme, after the sector was opened up in 2020 by the Centre to facilitate the private players.
The maiden sub-orbital launch of the rocket was rescheduled to the forenoon of November 18 from the earlier planned November 15 due to inclement weather conditions, Skyroot said.
The launch vehicle has been named ‘Vikram-S’ as a tribute to the father of Indian space programme, the late Vikram Sarabhai.
According to sources, the mission titled ‘Prarambh’ (the beginning) would carry three payloads belonging to two domestic customers and a foreign client and the launch is scheduled at 11.30 am on November 18.
“There it is, catch a glimpse of our Vikram-S at the rocket integration facility at Sriharikota, as it gets ready for the momentous day. Weather seems great for the launch on November 18, 11.30 am”, Skyroot Aerospace said and shared an image of the rocket in its social media account.
Skyroot Aerospace co-founder, Pawan K Chandana said, “after months of sleepless nights and meticulous preparations from our team — super thrilled to announce our first launch mission #Prarambh from the beautiful island of Sriharikota,” located about 115 km from here.
The mission is considered to be an important milestone for Skyroot Aerospace as it would help validate 80 per cent of the technologies that would be used in the Vikram-1 orbital vehicle that is scheduled for a 2023 launch.
One of the satellites is ‘Fun-Sat’, a 2.5 kg payload belonging to Chennai-based aerospace startup Spacekidz. It has been developed by students from India, the United States, Singapore and Indonesia.
The 480 kg Vikram launch vehicle consists of the Vikram II and Vikram III series.
The Vikram-S launch vehicle is expected to place the payloads in about 500 km low inclination orbit.
“The technology architecture of (launch vehicle) Vikram offers unique capabilities like multi-orbit insertion, interplanetary missions, while providing customised, dedicated and ride share options covering a wide spectrum of small satellite customer needs,” the company said.
Skyroot said the launch vehicles can be assembled and launched within 24 hours from any launch site.
Skyroot Aerospace set up in 2018 has successfully built and tested India’s first privately-developed cryogenic, hypergolic-liquid and solid fuel-based rocket engines using advanced composite and 3D printing technologies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio broadcast on October 30 had said the opening of space to the private sector has led to many young start-ups joining it, and revolutionary changes have come in.
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