India’s first privately built rocket, Vikram-S, launched by ISRO

India’s first privately built rocket – Vikram-suborbital (VKS)– was launched by the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) recently. The rocket – developed by Skyroot Aerospace – has been named after Vikram Sarabhai, hailed as the father of India’s space sector.

Dr Pawan Kumar Goenka, chairman, IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre), called it a “milestone” and “a new era” in the space history of India with a private player witnessing a successful launch. “This is a new beginning for the private players with this entry in the space sector,” he asserted.

This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had opened the space sector for participation by private players in June 2020. The government had called it a big reform amid the push for ‘Make-in-India’ scheme.

Hyderabad-based Skyroot, founded in 2018 and backed by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, was the first space startup to sign an agreement to use Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launch and test facilities after the government opened the door to private companies.