BENGALURU: On Friday, India successfully launched the Vikram-S, the nation’s first rocket that was developed privately. This was a significant step in the effort to build a commercial space industry and compete on price. The 545-kg rocket, built by the space company Skyroot, launched from the Indian space agency’s launch pad close to Chennai and reached a peak altitude of 89.5 kilometres (km).
According to the manufacturer, the rocket can travel at a speed of Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, and can lift an 83 kilogramme payload 100 kilometres into the air.For its initial launch, the Skyroot team had set an objective of 80 kilometres, which some organisations see as the outer limits of space.
The Karman line, established by an international aeronautics organisation to mark the separation between the Earth’s atmosphere and space, is located at a height of 100 km.The rocket was seen in video footage launching from the space centre and sending a plume of smoke and flames in its wake. According to officials, it landed in the Bay of Bengal roughly 5 minutes after launch.
The head of the Indian government organisation that organises commercial space activities, Pawan Goenka, declared that “I’m glad to announce the completion of Mission Prarambh, the beginning.”The goal of Pawan Chandana and Bharath Daka’s startup, Skyroot, is to reduce the cost of developing new small satellite launch platforms by up to 90%.
It anticipates achieving such cost savings by utilising composite materials and a rocket architecture that can be put together in under 72 hours. Starting the next year, it intends satellite-delivery launches.