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  • 14 November, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Vikram-S, India's Privately Developed Launch Vehicle

Vikram-S, India's First Privately Developed Launch Vehicle

  • Hyderabad-based Skyroot's Vikram-S is set to take off from Sriharikota, the country's only spaceport, becoming India's first privately developed launch vehicle.
  • The mission is known as 'Prarambh.'

Regarding the Prarambh mission:

  • It will be the first private sector launch in India.
  • The development of privately built rockets and satellites has accelerated, particularly since the finance minister announced that the space sector will be open to private participation in 2020.
  • Skyroot will be the first private company to successfully launch a rocket.

Other businesses and missions:

ISRO launches private satellite missions:

  • ISRO's heaviest launch vehicle, the Mark III, launched 36 OneWeb satellites (Bharti is an investor).
  • ISRO will also launch a fleet of 36 satellites for the company.
  • The space agency has also launched at least four student-built satellites.

The Vikram-S rocket

  • It is a suborbital launch vehicle with a single stage.
  • In a sub-orbital flight, it will transport three customer payloads. Among the three payloads is a 2.5kg satellite built by students from India, the United States, and Indonesia for another space startup, Space Kidz India.
  • Sub-orbital flight refers to vehicles that travel faster than the orbital velocity, which means they are fast enough to reach outer space but not fast enough to maintain an orbit around the Earth.
  • It is roughly defined as a distance of more than 80 kilometres from the mean sea level of the Earth.
  • Examples include Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson's initiatives.
  • It will aid in the testing and validation of technologies in the Vikram series of space launch vehicles.
  • The company is developing three Vikram rockets that will use various solid and cryogenic fuels to deliver payloads weighing between 290 and 560 kg to sun-synchronous polar orbits.
  • Vikram-I can deliver 480 kilogrammes of payload to LEO. A Kalam-100 rocket will power it.
  • Vikram-II is capable of carrying 595 kilogrammes of cargo.
  • Vikram-III has a launch mass of 815 kg and can reach a 500 km Low Inclination Orbit.
  • In comparison, India's PSLV can carry up to 1,750 kg to such an orbit, while the newly developed small satellite launch vehicle designed to carry smaller commercial satellites can carry up to 300 kg.

Tribute to Vikram Sarabhai

  • Skyroot's launch vehicles are named 'Vikram' in honour of the Indian space programme's founder and renowned scientist Vikram Sarabhai.

The Importance of Space Sector Privatization

  • Higher autonomy: Private companies have greater decision-making autonomy, allowing them to take on new projects.
  • Quick decision making: In private companies, decisions are made quickly, whereas in a public enterprise, the same process would have to go through several stages.
  • Low costs: It has enabled companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and others to significantly reduce their costs, such as launching a rocket to the International Space Station for $57 million per seat, compared to $80 million per seat aboard a Russian shuttle and $450 million per mission before NASA ended its space shuttle programme.
  • Making reusable landing rocket launchers, as well as improvements in assembly lines and other similar operations, all contribute to lower costs.
  • Better job opportunities: The expansion of the space industry employs millions around the world, and the increase in the number of private space companies promotes competition among them and encourages continuous improvements and advancements.

Source: The Hindu

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