The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched India’s first privately developed launch vehicle, Vikram-S, on Friday, November 18, as part of the Prarambh mission. Prarambh is the maiden mission of Hyderabad-based space-tech startup Skyroot Aerospace, and received support from ISRO as well as the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (INSPACe).
Vikram-S was successfully launched into space from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, at 11:30 am on Friday.
All about Prarambh mission and Vikram-S
Vikram-S is carrying three customer payloads. Prarambh, which means ‘beginning’, is a first for the Indian private space sector.
The slogan for Prarambh is ‘A New Beginning. A New Dawn’. The Chairman of ISRO, S Somanath, unveiled the mission patch for Prarambh. Vikram-S was developed in a record time of two years, and will be powered by solid fuels. It has cutting-edge avionics and all-carbon fibre core structures.
According to Skyroot Aerospace, the mission will help test and validate the majority of the technologies in the Vikram series of orbital-class space launch vehicles. The mission will also ensure that many sub-systems and technologies are tested across the pre-lift and post-lift stages.
Vikram-S is carrying payloads manufactured by Space Kidz India, BazoomQ Armenia and N-Space Tech India.
Vikram-S is one of the world’s first few all-composite space launch vehicles. The solid thrusters have been 3D-printed to ensure spin stability. The rocket will test 80 per cent of technologies for future Vikram series of orbital-class space launch vehicles.
Vikram-S has a mass of 545 kilograms, a length of six metres, a diameter of 0.375 metres, a peak vacuum thrust of seven tonnes, and can carry payloads weighing up to 83 kilograms to a maximum altitude of 100 kilometres.
Since Prarambh is successfully launched, Skyroot Aerospace has become the first private space company in India to launch a rocket into space. This marks the beginning of a new era for the India space sector, which was opened up for commercialisation in 2020.
Why Skyroot Aerospace’s rocket series is called ‘Vikram’
Skyroot Aerospace has named its series launch vehicles ‘Vikram’ as a tribute to Vikram Sarabhai, the father of the Indian Space Programme and founder of ISRO. Skyroot Aerospace aims to advance its mission to make space flights affordable, reliable and regular for all.
Vikram is a series of modular space launch vehicles especially crafted for the small satellite market, and is expected to enable the launch of more than 20,000 small satellites in the coming decade. The launch vehicles have unique capabilities like multi-orbit insertion and performing interplanetary missions, according to Skyroot Aerospace.