Skyroot’s maiden rocket scheduled for launch on Nov. 18

Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe), Department of Space (DOS), on Wednesday, authorised the first private sector launch of a launch vehicle by Skyroot Aerospace (Hyderabad based space start-up), scheduled to take off on November .18 between 11 a.m. and 12 noon from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

This will enable the first-ever launch of a privately designed and built rocket from India and the ‘Prarambh’ mission carries three customer payloads equipped with sensors for the measurement of acceleration, pressure etc. The mission’s aim is to launch Vikram–S (VKS), a single-stage solid fuelled sub-orbital rocket into space.

It took Skyroot Aerospace about two years to develop and has been built using advanced technologies including carbon composite structures and 3D-printed components. The firm founded by Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka in June 2018 is a two-time national award-winning space startup, with 200 employees, and is the largest funded private space start up in India with ₹526 crore raised as capital till date.

“I hope the Vikram-S rocket marks the start of a new age in India’s private space domain. The seamless joint efforts of various ISRO centres including SDSC SHAR, ISTRAC and VSSC, Skyroot team and IN-SPACe, have enabled the Skyroot VKS rocket to be launch-ready in a short period of time,” said chairman of IN-SPACe Pawan K Goenka.

This rocket will help validate the technologies that will be used in the subsequent Vikram-1 orbital vehicle of Skyroot that is planned for launch next year, subject to technical clearance by IN-SPACe, an autonomous nodal agency of Department of Space (DOS) to boost private space sector economy. It had received more than 150 applications for authorization, facilitation, and promotion from various firms, added the release.

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