India successfully launches first privately made rocket


India’s first privately developed rocket, Vikram-S, has successfully lifted off from the spaceport in Sriharikota on Friday, marking the foray of the private sector into the country’s space industry.

The 545-kg rocket, developed by space startup Skyroot, took off from the Indian space agency’s launch site near Chennai and hit a peak altitude of 89.5 kilometers (km).

Pawan Goenka, who chairs the Indian government agency that coordinates private-sector space activities said, “I’m happy to announce the successful completion of Mission Prarambh, the beginning”.

Video footage showed the rocket taking off from the space center, leaving a plume of smoke and fire in its trail.

The Indian government has been pushing to develop a private space industry to complement its state-run space program known for its affordable launches and missions.

Until now, the state-run ISRO has had a monopoly on launching rockets in India.

The Skyroot rockets are named after Vikram Sarabhai, the Indian physicist and astronomer considered the father of India’s space program.

The rockets have set a target of cutting development costs by up to 90% versus existing platforms to launch small satellites.

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