India’s first private rocket Vikram-S successfully launched; historic moment, says PM Modi

Chennai: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched Vikram-S, India’s first privately developed rocket, today from its spaceport in Sriharikota, about 115 kilometres from Chennai. The rocket’s launch marks the entry of the private sector into the country’s space industry, which was previously dominated by the state-run ISRO.

The Centre opened the space sector to private players in 2020.

Skyroot Aerospace

Skyroot Aerospace, the company that created the rocket, announced it in a Tweet, “Launched! Vikram-S makes history as India’s first private rocket to take to the skies. We appreciate everyone’s presence at this historic event.”

The Prarambh mission will demonstrate the technology and test its dependability and viability in carrying heavy payloads to space. The Vikram-S mission will be launched to an altitude of 120 kilometres above the Earth’s surface, carrying three customer payloads.

A historic moment for India: PM Modi

“A historic moment for India as the rocket Vikram-S, developed by Skyroot Aerospace, took off from Sriharikota today!,” PM Modi said in a tweet.

“It is an important milestone in the journey of India’s private space industry. Congrats to
@isro & @INSPACeIND for enabling this feat,” he said.

This accomplishment bears testimony to the immense talent of our youth, who took full advantage of the landmark space sector reforms of June 2020, PM Modi added.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh reached Sriharikota on Friday. Singh, in a tweet, shared a picture with the team members of Skyroot Aerospace and wrote: “With #StartUp Team “Skyroot Aerospace” at #Sriharikota, minutes before the launch of the first ever private Rocket, Vikram-S, named after Vikram Sarabhai, the founding father of India’s Space program. Countdown begins!”

“With the perfect launch of VKS from Skyroot first step of Private Industry’s entry into Space sector completed. The industry is now all set to fulfil our PM’s vision for Space – “even sky is not the limit,” Dr Pawan K Goenka, Chairman of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Center (IN-SPACE) said.

Different versions of the Vikram rocket

Skyroot has been working on three different versions of the Vikram rocket, which is named after Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the founder of the Indian Space Program. While the Vikram-I can carry 480 kilogrammes of payload into Low Earth Orbit, the Vikram-II can carry 595 kilogrammes. Meanwhile, Vikram-III can launch to a 500 km Low Inclination Orbit with an 815 kg payload.

The Vikram-S rocket took two years to develop and is powered by solid-fuelled propulsion, advanced avionics, and a carbon-fiber core structure. For improved spin stability, the thrusters are 3D printed.

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