India’s space programme will soar into new skies on Friday when the country’s first privately developed rocket, Vikram-S would be launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from its spaceport in Sriharikota, about 115 kms from Chennai.
Decks have been cleared for the four-year-old startup Skyroot Aerospace to make the maiden launch of its Vikram-S rocket, marking the foray of private sector into the country’s space industry, dominated by the state-run ISRO for decades.
Skyroot Aerospace has become the first private company in India to give wings to the Indian space programme, after the sector was opened to private players by the Centre in 2020.
The lift off of the first Vikram-S rocket has been scheduled at 11.30 am with clear weather paving the way for the launch as against the earlier planned November 15.
Vikram-S will soar to an altitude of 81 km after its launch from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The launch vehicle has been named so as a tribute to the father of Indian Space programme, the late Vikram Sarabhai.
The Mission titled ‘Prarambh’ (the beginning) would carry three payloads belonging to two domestic customers and a foreign client.
The six-meter tall rocket is one of the world’s first few all-composite rockets that has 3-D printed solid thrusters for spin stability of the launch vehicle, a Skyroot functionary said.
The launch of the rocket is expected to demonstrate flight proving of avionics systems in Vikram series like telemetry, tracking, inertial measurement, Global Positioning System, on-board camera, data acquisition and power systems.
India’s space regulator IN-SPACe on Wednesday authorised the launch of Skyroot’s Vikram-S sub-orbital vehicle.
“This is a giant leap for the private space sector in India. Congratulations to Skyroot for becoming the first Indian company to be authorised for launching a rocket,” Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre Chairman Pawan Goenka said.
The Vikram-S suborbital flight will carry three payloads of Chennai-based start-up SpaceKidz, Andhra Pradesh-based N-SpaceTech and Armenian BazoomQ Space Research Lab.