In a significant milestone for India’s private space sector, Hyderabad-based startup Skyroot Aerospace unveiled ‘Vikram-1,’ a multi-stage launch vehicle that reaches the height of a seven-story building on 24 October 2023 in the presence of Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, the MoS for Science & Technology. This impressive rocket, which stands tall in stature and technological sophistication, is set to conduct its maiden space launch in early 2024.
Skyroot Vikram 1: A Game Changer in Space Launch
Vikram 1 rocket’s body is entirely carbon fibre and consists of 3D-printed liquid engines. With a hefty payload of around 300 kg, Vikram 1 can launch satellites into lower earth orbit. After the successful launch of the Vikram S rocket from ISRO’s launch centre in Sriharikota last November, the Indian startup is gearing up for another set of launches in early 2024. With the new series of Vikram rockets, Skyroot can now develop on-demand rockets cost-effectively.
A Symbol of Pride
The unveiling of Vikram-1-1 coincided with the inauguration of Skyroot Aerospace’s new headquarters, ‘Max-Q,’ by Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh. The launch of Vikram-1-1 on this momentous day marks a ‘moment of great pride’ for Bharath Daka, co-founder and COO of Skyroot.
MAX Q: The Largest Rocket Factory in the Country
Skyroot successfully raised Rs 562 Crores in funding and inaugurated its new headquarters, the ‘MAX Q’ campus, India’s most extensive private integrated rocket development facility in Hyderabad’s GMR Aerospace and Industrial Park. Nestled within the expansive GMR Aerospace and Industrial Park in Hyderabad, the cutting-edge facility spans an impressive 60,000 sq ft and is equipped to accommodate a workforce of 300. The facility is built to develop a new series of small lift launch vehicles specially crafted for the small satellite market.
Skyroot Vikram 1: Private Rocket Revolution
Skyroot Vikram 1 represents India’s first privately designed and developed orbital-class rocket. This accomplishment results from space-sector reforms that have enabled private companies to design, develop, build, and launch their rockets and satellites. Skyroot Aerospace’s launch of ‘Vikram-S’ last year from ISRO’s facility in Sriharikota marked a historic moment when they became the first company to launch a private rocket from this renowned space centre.
The Importance of ‘Swadesi’: Decrease in Technological Dependency
The development of indigenous space technology finds its roots in the need for India to become technologically independent. While addressing the reporters after the inauguration ceremony, Dr Singh highlighted that India has been deprived of fully utilising the country’s large pool of talent and investment resources. He said that one way of doing this was opening up the space sector for public and private participation.
The Future for Space Exploration in India: Ambition and Hope
The legacy of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the pioneer of India’s space journey in 1962, continues to inspire the nation’s ongoing advancements in planetary exploration. With projections indicating a valuation of $40 Billion for the Indian space sector by 2040, Skyroot Aerospace remains steadfast in its commitment to driving innovation and contributing to the exponential growth of India’s space industry.
Skyroot Vikram 1: Changing the Landscape of India’s Space Economy
India’s space sector, long dominated by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), is witnessing a wave of startups. These private players are contributing significantly to the expansion of the Indian space economy. The growth of private companies like Skyroot Aerospace is propelling India to new heights in the space arena.
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