Hyderabad-based startup Skyroot becomes first Indian private space company to test a rocket engine

Skyroot Aerospace successfully test-fired their Vikram-1 launch vehicle upper state engine Raman that is the third and fourth stage of a traditional multi-stage rocket, fired at high altitude.

Hyderabad-based startup Skyroot Aerospace became the first Indian private company to build a homegrown rocket engine by successfully testing an upper-stage rocket engine that is the third and fourth stage of a traditional multi-stage rocket, fired at high altitude and designed to operate with little or no atmospheric pressure.

The engine was named Raman, after the Nobel Prize winner CV Raman and has fewer parts and weighs lesser than a conventional rocket engine.

The private space launch industry has been boosted since the launch and success of SpaceX. However, markets like India are just now getting the much needed regulatory support to pave the way for private industries to participate.

In a tweet, the company announced, “No better day than Dr. Vikram Sarabhai’s birthday to announce successful test firing our Vikram-1 launch vehicle upper state engine Raman. Four engines with multi-start capability produce a thrust of 3.4kN and insert multiple satellites into orbit.”

Founded two years ago, Skyroot has a team that includes rocket engineers with previous working experience at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), including CEO and co-founder Pawan Kumar Chandana and co-founder Naga Bharath Daka. The startup has raised $4.3 million to date that includes from space and defense contractor Solar Industries. It is currently going through the funding process again in hopes of securing another $15 million by 2021.

Skyroot is currently focused on developing its very first launch vehicle, the “Vikram-I,” which is in the process of being manufactured and is on track for its first launch sometime around December 2021. Test fires of two full stages of its rocket are under development for Skyroot, over the course of the next six months and the company is also concurrently already at work on Vikram-2 and Vikram-3, next-generation launch vehicles that are set to follow in terms of availability sometime around 2022-2023.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here