India’s First Private Rocket Set To Be Launched


India’s first privately developed launch vehicle – Hyderabad-based Skyroot’s Vikram-S – is all set to make its maiden flight from the country’s only spaceport in Sriharikota between November 12 and 16. The maiden mission of Skyroot Aerospace, named ‘Prarambh’ (the beginning), will carry two Indian and one foreign customer payloads and is set for launch from the Indian Space Research Organisation’s launchpad at Sriharikota.

The final launch date will be decided based on weather conditions. “The Vikram-S rocket is a single-stage sub-orbital launch vehicle which will carry three customer payloads and help test and validate technologies in the Vikram series space launch vehicles,” said Naga Bharath Daka, COO and co-founder of the company.

The company is designing three Vikram rockets that will use various solid and cryogenic fuels to carry between 290 kg and 560 kg payloads to sun-synchronous polar orbits. In comparison, India’s workhorse PSLV can carry up to 1,750kg to such an orbit while the newly-developed small satellite launch vehicle – meant for carrying smaller commercial satellites – can carry up to 300 kg to sun-synchronous orbit.

A report by Inc42 states the Vikram series (I, II, III) comprises solid-state rockets that are built on upgradeable architecture with carbon composite and 3D-printed motors and can be assembled and launched in less than 72 hours. They can carry satellites weighing up to 815kgs to the low Earth orbit and the sun-synchronous polar orbits (SSPOs).


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