Saturday, June 3, 2023

India successfully launches its first private-sector-built rocket – Times of India

Indian startup Skyroot Aerospace has initiated its journey to space by successfully launching its Vikram-S rocket. This mission has marked a new chapter in the country’s space history by making Skyroot the first Indian company to send a privately built rocket to space. The six-metre-long rocket that weighed more than 500 kilograms was sent on a sub-orbital mission. Vikram-S rocket carried three payloads from Space Kidz India, N-Space Tech India and Bazoomq Armenia.
Vikram-S rocket launch: More details
The Vikram-S rocket was equipped with four 3D-printed engines and was made out of carbon fibre. The vehicle included a single-stage propulsion system that was powered by solid fuel. This mission will help Skyroot Aerospace to approve the technologies that will be used in the next Vikram-1 orbital vehicle which is planned to launch in 2023.
The rocket took off from ISRO‘s sounding rocket launch pad in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh at about 11.30 am this morning. Vikram-S was able to reach an altitude of 89.5 km and a range of 121.2 km before it safely splashed down in the Bay of Bengal. The total flight time of the vehicle was about 300 seconds.

Vikram-S rocket launch: Reactions
Union Science & Technology Minister Jitendra Singh witnessed the vehicle takeoff from ISRO’s launch pad. According to a report by IANS, Singh mentioned that this launch event was “indeed a new beginning” for the Indian space programme. He noted that this is a “turning point in the Indian startup movement,” and also thanked PM Modi to open up the space sector for private participation.
The Chairman of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) Pawan Goenka, cited that all the systems had worked as planned and the rocket mission was a success. He also congratulated the Skyroot Aerospace team and ISRO for their contributions.
Skyroot Aerospace’s CEO and Co-Founder, Pawan Kumar Chandana also added that the mission’s objectives have been achieved. Chandana even said that the mission was dedicated to the late Vikram Sarabhai, who is known as the father of the Indian space sector.

ISRO’s contribution to the private space sector
ISRO is assisting private companies to end the space monopoly in the country. The Indian space agency is offering its facilities for testing and launching rockets as well as satellites that are made by private companies.
Chandana also mentioned that the fee charged by ISRO for the rocket launch and tracking services was also reasonable. He also noted that ISRO provided the integration facility, launchpad, range communications and tracking support before and during Skyroot’s rocket launch.

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