Skyroot successfully test fires space launch vehicle ‘Vikram-1’ rocket stage

Named ‘Kalam-100’ after the renowned Indian rocket scientist APJ Abdul Kalam.

Named ‘Kalam-100’ after the renowned Indian rocket scientist APJ Abdul Kalam.

Skyroot Aerospace, the national-award winning startup building India’s first privately built space launch vehicles has announced the successful completion of a full duration test-firing of its ‘Vikram-1’ rocket stage, representing a major milestone for the company on Thursday.

Named ‘Kalam-100’ after former President and the renowned Indian rocket scientist APJ Abdul Kalam, the third stage of ‘Vikram-1’ produces a peak vacuum thrust of 100 kN (or ~10Tons) and has a burn time of 108 sec, said the city based firm’s founders, in an official release.

The rocket stage has been built with high-strength carbon fiber structure, solid fuel, novel thermal protection system, and carbon ablative nozzle. “It’s a highly reliable stage with no moving parts and high level of automation in manufacturing. This testing will help us in development of orbital vehicle Vikram-1 and gives great confidence for our other rocket stages planned to be tested soon,” said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder Pawan Kumar Chandana.

“This is best in class rocket stage of this size, with record propellant loading and firing duration, and using all carbon composite structure for delivering best performance,” chipped in Chief Operating Officer (COO) and co-founder Naga Bharath Daka. Solar Industries India Ltd, a public listed company and one of the investors in Skyroot, managing director and chief executive officer Manish Nuwal pointed out that it is “largest rocket stage ever designed, manufactured, and tested completely in the private sector. We are proud to be a part of this achievement by supporting the propellant processing and static testing at our world class facilities in Nagpur.”

Skyroot vice president and veteran rocket scientist Eswaran VG stated that the “good match of test results with the design predictions in the very first attempt is a testimony to the team’s capabilities”. “The state-of-the-art technology like carbon composite case, high propeller volumetric loading upto 94%, lighter EPDM based thermal protection system, and submerged nozzle have been validated through the successful static test”, he added.

The firm, founded by former scientists of the Indian Space Research organization (ISRO), is a 150 plus member strong team actively developing their flagship Vikram series of space launch vehicles, named after ISRO founder Vikram Sarabhai.

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