Vikram-S launch: India’s first privately built rocket launches into space; 5 interesting facts

Vikram rocket launch will break down the barriers to entry for low-cost satellite launch services, said Union minister Dr. Jitendra Singh

India’s first privately made rocket, Vikram-S (VKS), launched from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launchpad in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. Astronomer, Jonathan Christopher McDowell announced the launch on Twitter.

Skyroot Aerospace, the developer of the VKS rocket, announced that Vikram-S has exceeded the target altitude of 80 kilometres above sea level, reaching a peak altitude of 89.5 kilometres.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), who was present in Sriharikota for the launch, hailed it as a watershed moment for the Indian startups.

Dr. Singh, on Wednesday, stated that this will be a key milestone in ISRO’s journey. He stated that two years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the Indian Space Sector to private participation.

Here are some facts about Vikram-S that you should be aware of:

  • The VKS rocket is a one-stage, spin-stabilised, solid-propellant rocket that was developed by Skyroot Aerospace Pvt Ltd (SAPL), a startup company. It weighs around 550 kg.
  • The mission, called “Prarambh” (which means “the beginning”), will send three payloads into space, including one from an international customer.
  • The rocket reaches a maximum altitude of 101 kilometres before splashing into the sea, and the launch lasts only 300 seconds.
  • The launch vehicle is named after the founder of the Indian space programme, Vikram Sarabhai.
  • The launch of the rocket would represent the private sector’s entry into the nation’s space industry. In 2020, the Centre opened the space sector to private participation.

Dr. Jitendra Singh said that it will level the playing field for low-cost satellite launch services by removing entry barriers. It will also help start-ups make space travel more affordable and reliable.

Three to four years ago, there were only a handful of space start-ups, but today there are 102 space start-ups working in cutting-edge areas such as space debris management, nano-satellite, launch vehicles, ground systems, etc., the minister stated.

With inputs from the Press Information Bureau

Edited by Tanmoy Mitra

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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