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Vikram-S: India’s first private rocket launch delayed, now set to launch on THIS date

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The Hyderabad-based startup, Skyroot Aerospace, has delayed the launch of India’s first privately developed rocket, Vikram-S. From the initial launch date which was set for today i.e. 15 November, the rocket will now be launched on 18 November, 2022. The launch has been delayed due to bad weather conditions.

Giving a glimpse of the rocket, Skyroot Aerospace, in a tweet informed, “There it is! Catch a glimpse of our Vikram-S at the rocket integration facility at Sriharikota, as it gets ready for the momentous day. Weather seems great for the launch on 18 Nov 11:30 am.”

Earlier on 13 November, the company had informed the November 15 delay and had stated a revised window between 15 and 19 November 2022.

It wrote, “While India’s first private rocket, the Vikram-S, is bracing for launch from Sriharikota with a revised window between 15 and 19 November 2022, get to know its propulsion system – the Kalam 80, successfully test fired on 15 March 2022. Stay tuned.”

India’s first private rocket, Vikram-S, is developed by a Hyderabad-based startup Skyroot Aerospace. The rocket will be launched on a sub-orbital mission, named as Prarambh, with three payloads. Skyroot was the first startup to sign a MoU with ISRO for launching its rockets.

Apart from being the nation’s first private launch, it will also be the maiden mission of Skyroot Aerospace, named ‘Prarambh’, and will carry a total of three payloads in space. Out of them, two will be Indian customers and one will be foreign customers.

Skyroot aims to disrupt entry barriers to cost-efficient satellite launch services and space-flight by advancing its mission to make spaceflights affordable, reliable and regular for all, the statement said.

Spacekidz, a Chennai-based aerospace startup, will fly ‘Fun-Sat’, a 2.5 kg payload developed by students from India, the US, Singapore and Indonesia on the sub-orbital flight on board Vikram-S.

Set up in 2018, Skyroot has successfully built and tested India’s first privately developed cryogenic, hypergolic-liquid, and solid fuel-based rocket engines using advanced composite and 3D-printing technologies.

It had successfully raised $51 million through a Series-B financing round, in September this year. It had raised $11 million in Series-A capital raise in July last year.

Impact of the mission on India’s private space sector

The successful launch of the mission will make Skyroot the first private space company to launch a rocket in space from India. This will pave way for the growth of India’s private space sector which was opened in 2020. Since then, the country has been trying to attract private space companies to launch rockets from India.

The name of the launch vehicles of Skyroot are kept ‘Vikram’ as a mark to pay tribute to the founder of the Indian Indian space programme and renowned scientist Vikram Sarabhai. Skyroot company was the first startup to enter into a memorandum of understanding with ISRO for launching its rockets.

As per PTI reports, the ultimate aim of opening the space sector for private companies in India is to provide a conducive environment for cost-efficient satellite launch services by disrupting the entry barriers. This will help these companies in advancing their mission and make spaceflights affordable, reliable and regular for all.

(With inputs from PTI)

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