India’s first private sector rocket Vikram-S to be launched in November

In what will be India’s first space launch from the private sector, Skyroute Aerospace is all set to launch the country’s first privately developed rocket into space. The initial mission is expected to launch in the second week of November on a demonstration flight with the Vikram-S launch vehicle.

The mission will be historic as rockets have so far been the domain of the public sector in the country, with the Indian Space Research Organization leading the development, design and launch of the space mission.

While the company has said that the mission could be launched between November 12-16, they have not yet released any details about the final launch date. The company has already received technical launch approval from IN-SPACe, the country’s nodal agency to promote and regulate space-tech players.

Sirish Pallikonda, Business Development Lead, Skyroute said that it will be a demonstration flight with three customer payloads. “We are yet to get the launch date, but Vikram-S will be launched between November 12-16,” he said.

“Thrilled to announce our maiden launch mission, which is also a first for the Indian private space sector,” the Telangana-based aerospace company said on Tuesday. Mission patch for the first launch in Bengaluru.

Skyroute is developing three variants of the Vikram rocket. While Vikram-I can carry 480 kg payload into low earth orbit, Vikram-II is equipped to lift 595 kg cargo. Meanwhile, Vikram-III can launch with 815 kg to 500 km low inclination orbit.

The Vikram-I launch vehicle will be powered by a Kalam-100 rocket, which successfully underwent a static fire test earlier this year.

The test was conducted at the facility of Solar Industries India, one of the company’s investors.

“Extremely thrilled to announce our maiden launch mission from the beautiful island of Sriharikota. Mixed feelings of excitement and nervousness,” Skyroute co-founder Pawan Chandana tweeted.

The initial mission will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota off the coast of Andhra Pradesh.

The mission will carry three payloads, including a 2.5 kg payload, which has been developed by students from several countries, including India, under the aegis of SpaceKidzIndia.

“We are thrilled and very happy to mark a significant milestone in the commercial space sector of the country by flying our payloads on this historic mission. It was a wonderful experience working with all of you,” Space Kidz India said.