Vikram-S, India’s first private rocket successfully lifts off from Sriharikota


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.

Developed by Skyroot Aerospace, a four-year-old startup based in Hyderabad, the rocket was launched with support from ISRO and IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre).

“Congratulations India! It is the beginning of a new dawn. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given life to the dream of Skyroot co-founders. India’s ascent for the next 25 years has begun,” Union Minister Jitendra Singh, who was at Sriharikota, said after the historic launch.

The rocket carried three payloads built by Andhra Pradesh-based N Space Tech India, Chennai-based startup Space Kids and Armenian BazoomQ Space Research Lab.

Vikram-S soared to an altitude of 89.5 km after its launch and met all the parameters, Skyroot Aerospace said attaching a YouTube link of the flight.

“We made history today by launching India’s first private rocket. It is a symbol of new India, and just the Prarambh (beginning) of a great future.” Pawan Kumar Chandana, Co-Founder Skyroot Aerospace, said.

Developed by a-200 engineer team within a record time of two years, Vikram-S is powered by solid fuelled propulsion, cutting-edge avionics and a carbon fibre core structure.

The rocket launch will help test and validate the majority of the technologies in the Vikram series of orbital class space launch vehicles, including many sub-systems and technologies that will be tested across the pre-lift off and post-lift off phases of the launch, according to Skyroot Aerospace.

The six-metre tall rocket is one of the world’s first few all-composite rockets that has 3D-printed solid thrusters for its spin stability.

With a body mass of 545 kgs, length of 6m, and diameter of 0.375 meters, Vikram-S is one of the most affordable rockets in its category, globally.

At least 150 start-ups have shown interest in the space sector, Dr Pawan Goenka, IN-SPACe Chairman, told the media  “150 start-ups have sent applications to foray into space. So far, we have given authorization to five,” he said.