Vikram-S: India’s First Privately Developed Rocket

India is set to launch Vikram-S on November 15 from Indian Space Research Organisation’s launchpad at Sriharikota – an island in Andhra Pradesh.

What is Vikram-S?

  • Vikram-S, a single stage sub-orbital launch vehicle, is India’s first privately developed rocket.
  • It was developed by a Hyderabad-based startup Skyroot Aerospace.
  • During its maiden launch under Mission Prarambh (beginning), it will carry 3 customer payloads in a sub-orbital flight to help validate the majority of technologies in the Vikram series of space launch vehicles.

About the payloads

  • Of the three payloads launched aboard the Vikram-S under Mission Prarmbh, two are for Indian customers and one is for a foreign customer.
  • One of them is Funny-Sat. Weighing 2.5 kg, this payload will be sent to space by a Chennai-based aerospace startup Spacekidz. It was developed by students from India, the United States, Singapore and Indonesia.

About Vikram series

The Vikram series has three rockets – Vikram I, II and III. They have unique capabilities such as multi-orbit insertion and interplanetary missions. They can support communication services like broadband internet, GPS, and IoT from space and earth imaging. It will provide customized, dedicated and ride share options, catering to a wide spectrum of small satellite customer base.

These rockets can be assembled and launched in less than 72 hours, having the lowest cost in the payload segment. They can carry satellites weighing up to 815 kg to the low Earth orbit and the sun- synchronous polar orbits (SSPOs).

These launch vehicles are named after Vikram Sarabhai – the father of the Indian space program.

Significance of Mission Prarambh

  • Mission Prarambh (beginning) will mark the first-ever launch of the privately developed rocket from India.
  • It makes Skyroot company the first startup to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for launching rockets.
  • It opens the Indian space sector to private companies and provides favourable environment for cost-efficient satellite launch services by removing the entry barriers.

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