India’s first private rocket, Vikram-S launched successfully
India has started to become a global name in the past few years. We have been making a lot of progress in various sectors, be it sports or technology. With the Make in India initiative launched by the government in 2014, the world has noticed the impact that Indian industries can make in the manufacturing sector. Just like Dafabet offers its services to the whole of the world, about which you can read more here, the Make in India initiative strives to offer services within and outside India, but with goods produced solely in India. The goal was to turn India into a manufacturing hub, and it would not be wrong to say that the journey so far has been fruitful.
Another milestone achievement has been added to the pages of Indian history with the launch of Vikram-S, which is India’s first privately built rocket. The rocket has been named after Vikram Sarabhai, the man who founded the Indian space programme. Before this, all rockets were built and launched under the supervision of ISRO, the national body for space technology. The launch was the first step in the Mission Prarambh, which allowed companies from the private sector to contribute to space technology. This step was taken in 2020, and after almost two years of immense efforts, the results are here.
Vikram-S, India’s first privately manufactured rocket was launched to space on 18th November, at 11:30 a.m. IST. The launch was successful, and the rocket was able to attain an altitude of 89.5 kilometres, even though the expected altitude had been 80 kilometres only. It was able to attain hypersonic speed within 80 seconds of launch, and reached peak altitude in merely 155 seconds. Vikram-S has been manufactured by Skyroot Aerospace, a start-up company based in Hyderabad. The launch took place at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, near Chennai. The rocket carried three payloads which have been built by the different companies- one by N Space Tech India, a company based in Andhra Pradesh, the second by Space Kids, a start-up based in Chennai, and the third by Armenian BazoomQ Space Research Lab.
Vikram-S is a “single-stage sub-orbital launch vehicle”, said Naga Bharath Daka, who is the co-founder of Skyroot Aerospace. The rocket carried three customer payloads, which usually comprise technical gear for telecommunication that need to be put up in space. This will help to test the technologies that are being used in the Vikram series space launch vehicles, which are scheduled to be launched next year. Vikram-S uses the Kalam-80 engine, which has been named after the Missile Man of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. The Vikram series are supposed to use cores made of carbon composites, which has not been used by many rockets before.
It remains to be seen how the other rockets in the Vikram series perform. But the successful launch of Vikram-S definitely points to the ‘Prarambh’ of a new era in space research. Apart from Skyroot, there are many other private players whose contributions can greatly improve the image of Indian space research facilities.