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ISRO to launch the first-ever privately manufactured rocket tomorrow morning

Vikram-S, India's first privately developed rocket, is scheduled to launch tomorrow from the Sriharikota launchpad of the Indian Space Research Organization.

Vikram-S: The Mission Prarambh
Photo by Naveed Ahmed / Unsplash

Vikram-S, India's first privately manufactured rocket, developed by Hyderabad-based company Skyroot Aerospace (1), is prepared for launch on a sub-orbital mission dubbed Prarambh with three payloads. This action would create a conducive atmosphere for private participants in the space sector.

According to Tuesday's announcement by Skyroot Aerospace CEO and co-founder Pawan Kumar Chandana, the launch will take place at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow. This will be the first private launch in the country and the inaugural flight of Skyroot Aerospace, dubbed "Prarambh." Three payloads will be sent into orbit, two of which will belong to Indian customers and one to a foreign customer.

Vikram-S: The Mission Prarambh
Photo by Piero Regnante / Unsplash

Vikram will launch a 2.5-kg payload called Funny-Sat into space. The payload was developed by students from India, the US, Singapore, and Indonesia and will be launched by Chennai-based aerospace startup Spacekidz (2). If the mission is launched successfully, Skyroot will become the first private space business to send a rocket from India into space.

This will also open the door for the expansion of India's private space sector, established in 2020 and has since been attempting to draw private space businesses to the nation to launch rockets from India.

What’s the story behind the name?

The word "Vikram" was retained in the name of Skyroot's launch vehicles as a nod to Vikram Sarabhai (3), the eminent scientist who founded the Indian space program. Skyroot is now the first startup to sign a memorandum of understanding with ISRO (4) for the launch of its rockets.

The ultimate goal of opening up the Indian space industry to private companies is to create an environment conducive to affordable satellite launch services by removing entry barriers. This will aid these companies in furthering their missions and make spaceflights accessible, dependable, and regular for everyone.

The privately designed cryogenic hypergolic-liquid and solid fuel rocket engines were built and tested by Skyroot, founded in 2018. The rockets were launched using cutting-edge composite and 3D printing technology.

Skyroot was able to raise USD 51 million in a Series-B financing transaction in September as a result of its encouraging performance. In addition, the company made USD 11 million from a Series-A capital-raising funding transaction in July 2021.

At 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, November 15.

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