New Delhi, November 13
Inclement weather has put off the launch of India’s first privately manufactured rocket that was to take off on November 15 from Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) port Sriharikota for suborbital flight.
The launch has been postponed by three days, said Skyroot Aerospace, the Hyderabad-based manufacturer of the rocket.
Anything lofted above the “Karman Line” (100 km above sea level) is considered a foray into space. Objects that remain below it are considered to have made suborbital flights for upper-atmospheric experiments.
“Due to the inclement weather forecast, we have been given a new launch window from November 15 to 19 for our Vikram-S rocket from Sriharikota, with the most likely date being November 18 at 11.30 am,” said a spokesperson for Skyroot, a space startup.
Expectations were building up for the launch on November 15 as Skyroot had tweeted on Friday, stating, “It all points to 15 Nov ’22 for launch.”
The maiden mission of Skyroot, named “Prarambh” (the beginning), will carry three payloads, including one from a foreign customer. The mission will help Skyroot validate the technologies that will be used in the next Vikram series rocket (Vikram-1) planned for commercial launch in 2023.
“One of the key areas that we will be monitoring closely during the November 18 flight will be the performance of our solid-fuelled rocket engine,” the Skyroot spokesperson said.
With this mission, 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 to private players in 2020.
The ISRO is also hand-holding “Agnikul Cosmos”, another startup working to provide launch services for satellites.
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