Skyroot Aerospace test fires India’s first Private Upper Stage Rocket Engine

Weekly Current Affairs August 8 2020
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The Skyroot Aerospace has become the first Indian private company to test fire a homegrown upper stage rocket engine. It has demonstrated for the first time the capability to build a homegrown rocket engine.

The Rocket Engine – Raman

The 3D-printed rocket engine has been named after Noble laureate CV Raman. It is India’s first 100% 3D-printed bi-propellant liquid rocket engine injector. The rocket engine has fewer moving parts and weighs less than half of a conventional rocket engine of similar capacity. The engine has the capability of multiple restarts which enables the launch vehicle to insert various satellites into multiple orbits in a single mission.

Skyroot Aerospace

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Aerospace startup Skyroot Aerospace is a Hyderabad based aerospace manufacturer and satellite manufacturing company founded by Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka, both former scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO). The company was founded on June 12 2008. Since its inception it has earned fame for its Vikram series of launch vehicles – Vikram I, Vikram II and Vikram III.

Skyroot Aerospace plans to build a family of rockets. It is expected that the first rocket, which can hurl satellites of 250-700 kgs into a lower earth orbit will be launched by the end of 2021.The firm has raised 31.5 crore from investors to develop the family of rockets and is in continuous talks to raise 90 crore by mid-2021.

Private Sector Participation in Space Activities

In order to advance India’s capabilities in the space sector the Union Cabinet had approved the participation of the private sector in various space activities recently. The move was made during a meeting of the Union Cabinet on 24th June, 2020.

Key Points

  • Through this reform private sector is now allowed to carry out space activites like building rockets, satellites, providing launch services etc.
  • Private sectors can also be part of planetary exploration missions.
  • An approval was made to set up Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (In-Space) under the Department of Space. It will play the role of guiding the private sector in various space activities.
  • In-Space will have its own directorates for technical, legal safety and security, activity promotion as well as for monitoring purposes.
  • The New Space India Limited(NSIL), a PSU, founded in March 2019 will have the responsibility to change the economic and social policies for encouraging the private sector in space activities by making Indian Space Sector from “supply driven” to “demand driven and thus ensure optimum utilization of space assets.

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