India’s first private rocket lifts off from ISRO spaceport

The six-metre-tall launch vehicle Vikram-S is named after Vikram Sarabhai; the rocket is developed by the Hyderabad-based start-up Skyroot Aerospace Private Limited

It was a historic moment when Vikram-S, India’s first privately-developed rocket, lifted off precisely at 11.30 a.m. on Friday from Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) launchpad in Sriharikota.

Developed by Hyderabad-based start-up Skyroot Aerospace Private Limited, the six-metre-tall vehicle hit a peak altitude of 89.5 km and then splashed into the Bay of Bengal about five minutes after the launch. This mission was titled Prarambh.

The rocket Vikram-S is a single-stage solid fuelled, sub-orbital rocket developed over two years by incorporating advanced technologies including carbon composite structures and 3D-printed components.

Equipped with a gross lift off mass of 545kg, and payload mass of 80 kg, Vikram-S carried with it three customer payloads, which will map the measurement and validation of certain flight parameters and payload integration processes.

This was a technology demonstration flight to showcase the capabilities of the company. The rocket will help validate the technologies that will be used in the subsequent Vikram-1 orbital vehicle of Skyroot that is planned for launch next year, subject to technical clearance by IN-SPACe.

Founded by Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka in June 2018 Skyroot Aerospace is a two-time national award-winning space startup.