In a historic development, India’s first privately developed rocket Vikram-S was successfully launched from Sriharikota on Saturday. It marks the entry of the private sector into the space industry in India.
Developed by Hyderabad-based startup Skyroot Aerospace, the rocket carried three customer payloads. Two of the three payloads are for domestic customers and one for foreign customers. Domestic customers are SpaceKidz India and N-Space Tech India while the third, BazoomQ Space Research Lab, is based in Armenia.
Named Praramb, the mission was supported by the national space agency ISRO. ISRO announced on Twitter, “Mission launch successfully accomplished. Congratulations.”
“We created history today by launching India’s first private rocket. It is a symbol of New India, and just the beginning of a great future.” said Pawan Kumar Chandna, co-founder of Skyroot Aerospace.
Union minister Jitendra Singh, who was in Sriharikota to witness the launch, said it marked a turning point for Indian startups.
The launch of the rocket is expected to flight prove the Vikram series of avionics systems such as telemetry, tracking, inertial measurement, global positioning system, on-board cameras, data acquisition and power systems. A Skyroot spokesperson recently said that the Vikram S is one of the first few composite rockets in the world to have 3-D printed solid thrusters for spin stability of the launch vehicle.
The launch vehicle is also equipped with telemetry, tracking, GPS, on-board cameras, data acquisition and power systems.