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India's first private rocket Vikram-S braces for Nov 18 launch

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New Delhi, Nov 15: Hyderabad-based space startup Skyroot Aerospace has announced that India's first privately developed rocket, Vikram-S is now set for November 18 launch on a sub-orbital mission with three payloads. The maiden mission of Skyroot Aerospace, named 'Prarambh' (the beginning), will carry payloads of two Indian and one foreign customer and is set for launch from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)'s launchpad at Sriharikota.

Indias first private rocket Vikram-S braces for Nov 18 launch

"Due to the inclement weather forecast, we have been given a new launch window from Nov 15-19 for our Vikram-S rocket launch from Sriharikota, with the most likely date being Nov 18 at 11:30 a.m," Skyroot Aerospace announced.

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"Excitement is up, with our launch window getting narrower. Exhilarating days at the launch pad, with our crew preparing for the big day. Heartbeats quicken. All gazes are up to the sky. The earth is listening," Skyspace Aerospace said in another tweet.

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    Spacekidz, a Chennai-based aerospace startup, will fly 'Fun-Sat', a 2.5 kg payload developed by students from India, the US, Singapore, and Indonesia on the sub-orbital flight onboard Vikram-S.

    With this, Skyroot is set to become the first private space company in India to launch a rocket into space, heralding a new era for the space sector which was opened up in 2020 to facilitate private sector participation. In September 2020, Skyroot unveiled India's first private cryogenic rocket engine that runs on LNG. This is also the first private company that has successfully designed, developed and tested a full solid propulsion rocket stage in India.

    Notably, Skyroot's launch vehicles are named 'Vikram' as a tribute to the founder of the Indian Space programme 'Vikram Sarabhai'. Besides the launch vehicle, the space startup is also working on a cryogenic engine - Dhawan-I, named after former ISRO Chairman Satish Dhawan, which would operate on two high-performance rocket propellants, liquid natural gas and liquid oxygen.

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