India’s first private rocket mission gets new launch window, lift off likely on Nov 18 at 1130 A.M

India’s first private rocket mission gets new launch window, lift off likely on Nov 18 at 1130 A.M

Chennai: India’s first private rocket launch mission Vikram-S by Skyroot Aerospace has been deferred by a couple of days due to inclement weather and ISRO has given a new launch window from November 15 to 19 and the lift off is likely to take place on November 18 at 1130 hrs from the spaceport of Sriharikota. In an update, a Skyroot Aerospace spokesperson told UNI that “due to the inclement weather forecasted, we have been given a new launch window from November 15 to 19 for our Vikram-S rocket launch–named ‘Prarambh’ meaning “the beginning” from the spaceport of Sriharikota, with the most likely date being November 18, 2022.” “The time given for launch is 11:30 AM”, he said. Earlier, ISRO had given the launch window for the mission between November 12 to 16 to the Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace–India’s private sector rocket maker and leading SpaceTech Startup–with Vikram-S carrying three payloads from the SHAR Range. The ISRO had also said that the final date will be confirmed based on weather conditions and now a fresh launch window was given after taking into account heavy rains under the influence of a Low Pressure area, which became well marked and weakened today. Naga Bharath Daka, COO and Co-Founder of Skyroot Aerospace said “Vikram-S rocket is a single-stage sub-orbital launch vehicle which would carry three customer payloads and help test and validate majority of the technologies in the Vikram series of space launch vehicles.” “We are utilizing the world-class launch infrastructure at ISRO’s spaceport in Sriharikota for the launch”, he said. It said Vikram-S is poised to create history as it undergoes final launch preparations at ISRO’s launchpad in Sriharikota. The mission named ‘Prarambh’, meaning ‘the beginning’, signify a new era for the private space sector in India and the first mission for Skyroot. It was unveiled by ISRO Chairman Dr.S.Somanath in Bangalore yesterday after getting the technical launch clearance from the Space regulator IN-SPACe. With this maiden mission, Skyroot Aerospace is set to become the first private space company in India to launch a rocket into space, heralding a new era for the space sector which was recently opened up for private sector participation. Skyroot, a two-time national award winner, incidentally is the first Indian startup to sign a MoU with ISRO in this regard. Skyroot Aerospace CEO and Co-Founder Pawan Kumar Chandana said “We could build and get our Vikram-S rocket mission- ready in such a short time only because of the invaluable support we received from ISRO and IN-SPACe”. “We are proud to announce our pathbreaking mission ‘Prarambh’ dedicated to the Indian private space sector, which has hugely benefited from the reforms that were guided by the Government of India and its vision” Skyroot’s launch vehicles are named ‘Vikram’ as a tribute to the founder of the Indian Space programme Dr.Vikram Sarabhai. The company plans to have three rocket variants: Vikram-I with payload/carrying capacity of 480 kg to 500 km to Low Inclination Orbit (LIO and 290 kg to 500 km in Sun Synchronous Polar Orbit (SSPO). The other two variants are Vikram II—595 kg to 500 km LIO, 400 kg to 500 km SSPO and Vikram III -815 kg to 500 km LIO, 560 kg to 500 km SSPO. Vikram-S will carry a 2.5 kg satellite built by 80 students from India, US and Indonesia and faciliated by Space Kidz India, an aerospace startup. “We will be flying the student satellite in the Vikram-S rocket. The satellite was built by 6th to 12th Grade students and in some cases with their grandparents,” according to Space Kidz Founder CEO Srimathy Kesan. Designing a payload by kids along with their grandparents was a fun element that was introduced this time around. There were a couple of grandparents who had bought the kits and assembled the same, she said. The satellite, developed in about eight to nine months, has 80 boards and about 10-15 experiments could be done, she said. UNI

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