PM Modi hails launch of India’s first private rocket Vikram S, calls it ‘historic moment’

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The launch of Vikram-S rocket marked the entry of private players in India’s space sector. The 500-kg rocket travelled in an arc as seen in the live footage from the ISRO.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday hailed the launch of Vikram-S, India’s first private rocket which lifted off from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launchpad at Sriharikota.

“A historic moment for India as the rocket Vikram-S, developed by Skyroot Aerospace, took off from Sriharikota today! It is an important milestone in the journey of India’s private space industry. Congrats to @isro & @INSPACeIND for enabling this feat”, the prime minister tweeted.

“This accomplishment bears testimony to the immense talent of our youth, who took full advantage of the landmark space sector reforms of June 2020. @SkyrootA”, Modi added.

The launch of Vikram-S rocket marked the entry of private players in India’s space sector. The 500-kg rocket travelled in an arc as seen in the live footage from the ISRO.

The private rocket developed by Hyderabad-based startup Skyroot Aerospace reached the peak altitude of 90 kilometres which is below the internationally recognised 100-km Kamran line that separates the earth from the outer space.

The startup was founded by Pawan Chandana and Bharath Deka in 2018. The company is eyeing to cut development costs by up to 90 per cent to launch small satellites, Reuters reported.

The company is hoping to achieve cost savings through rocket architecture which can be assembled in less than 72 hours using composite materials. Skyroot is planning launches which can deliver satellites.

The rockets are named after Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, revered as the father of India’s space programme. The company is backed by Singaporean wealth fund GIC. It is the first space startup to sign an agreement for using ISRO’s launch and test facilities following the Narendra Modi government’s decision to allow private companies in space sector in 2020.

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