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"New Dawn"-Vikarm-S India's 1st private rocket launched successfully

Vikram-S soared to an altitude of 89.5 km after its launch and met all the parameters, Skyroot Aerospace, which developed the rocket, said.

Vikram-S, India's first privately developed rocket, successfully lifted off from the spaceport in Sriharikota today, marking the foray of the private sector into the country's space industry, dominated by ISRO for decades.

Skyroot Aerospace, an Indian Space-Tech startup, has launched its first rocket into space at 11:30 am. The Vikram-S rocket, the first of the Vikram-series took off from the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) launchpad in Sriharikota. This is the first private rocket launch taking place in India.

Vikram-S is a single stage fuel rocket meant to test most systems and processes in Skyroot Aerospace’s project ahead of the launch of Vikram-1 scheduled for next year. The launch today is also a sub-orbital one, meaning the vehicle will reach outer space, it will not remain in orbit around the Earth, with the flight time being less than five minutes. You can check the live stream of launch below.

The company is designing three Vikram rockets that will use various solid and cryogenic fuels. The Vikram series of rockets are among the few launch vehicles that have their core structure built using carbon composites. The thrusters used for spin stability in the vehicle have been 3D printed.

The engine used in the launch vehicle is named after former president Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. The performance of the ‘Kalam-80’ will be one of the key areas that the company will monitor during the flight of Vikram-S.

Mission Prarambh will see Vikram-S carry three customer satellites in a sub-orbital flight. In a sub-orbital flight, the vehicle travels slower than the orbital velocity — which means it is fast enough to reach outer space, but not fast enough to stay in an orbit around the Earth. Tycoons Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson have undertaken sub-orbital flights to the edge of space.

Friday’s flight will take less than five minutes. Vikram-S is a single stage solid fuel rocket meant to test nearly 80 per cent of all systems and processes before the launch of Vikram-1 scheduled for next year. Vikram-1 will be a much larger vehicle that will undertake orbital flights

Rockets are very complex vehicles, and like every complex technology, it can also go wrong, based on various reasons. But we have backed our build with the best of technology and skills, and so we believe that the launch will be a success, and that Vikram-S will chart new history for Indian private space sector,”

Vikram-S will carry three satellites, including one by SpaceKidz India called FunSat, parts of which were developed by school students. The Vikram rockets will be able to carry between 290 kg and 560 kg payloads into sun-synchronous polar orbits.

In comparison, India’s workhorse PSLV can carry up to 1,750 kg to such an orbit. The newly-developed Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), meant for carrying smaller commercial satellites, can carry up to 300 kg to sun-synchronous orbit.

Edited by Ragul Senthil

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