Bengaluru: Skyroot Aerospace launched India’s first private rocket on Friday at 11.30 am with support from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), from the Sriharikota launch pad. The historic mission, titled Prarambh (the beginning), saw the rocket Vikram-S (VKS) perform a suborbital flight with three customer payloads, and tested and validated the rocket’s technology.
The rocket flew to an altitude of 81.5 km, before splashing down in the Bay of Bengal. The success of the flight, made Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace the very first private company in India to launch a rocket.
The launch was authorised and facilitated by IN-SPACe, ISRO’s new regulatory authority tasked with facilitating ISRO resource support for private startups in the country.
The single-stage sub-orbital rocket used the company’s Kalam 80 propulsion system, weighing 545 kg at launch. It carried three payloads weighing a total of 80kg, from customers Space Kidz India, N-Space Tech India, and Bazoomq Armenia, according to the limited mission profile released by Skyroot on Twitter before the launch.
None of the payloads were ejected from the rocket’s nose cone, but were instead exposed after the payload fairing separated and remained attached to the vehicle as it splashed into the Bay of Bengal.
Union minister of State Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, said on Wednesday that the launch helps create a level playing field for cost-efficient satellite launch services by disrupting entry barriers. He added that with the integration of research and development, academia, and industry, a space revolution is on the horizon. (Agencies)