Vikram-S : India’s First Privately Developed Rocket
India’s first privately developed rocket, Vikram-S, is poised to create history as it undergoes final preparations at the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) launchpad in Sriharikota for launch between November 12 and 16.
- It was developed by the Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace.
- The mission named ‘Prarambh’ (the beginning), since it is the first mission for Skyroot.
- With this maiden mission, Skyroot is set to become the first private space company in India to launch a rocket into space.
- The launch mission will be a suborbital spaceflight, and will carry three customer payloads to the intended orbit.
- A suborbital spaceflight refers to a height of around 100km from the Earth’s surface, and is done at a lower altitude than an orbital flight, which reaches at least a low-Earth orbit — between around 200km to 2,000km from Earth.
- Suborbital flights are known to be important for conducting tests of space missions, before final commercial missions take place.
- Among the three payloads is a 2.5kg satellite of another space startup, Space Kidz India, which has been built by students from India, the US and Indonesia.
- Skyroot, a two-time national award winner, is the first start-up to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ISRO in this regard.
- The Vikram series, named after the founder of India’s space programme Dr Vikram Sarabhai, are all-carbon-fibre structures that can launch up to 800 kg of payloads to the Low Earth Orbit.
- Skyroot has designed the series for the small satellite market at low costs and with capabilities for multi-orbit insertion.
Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe):
- The establishment of IN-SPACe was announced in June 2020.
- It is an autonomous and single window nodal agency in the Department of Space for the promotion, encouragement and regulation of space activities of both government and private entities.