Skyroot Aerospace to fly its rocket from mobile launch pad in 2022

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Rocket maker Skyroot Aerospace Private Ltd’s Vikram-1 rocket is slated to lift off from a mobile launch pad or transporter, erector and launcher (TEL), a top company official said.

The Hyderabad-based company is planning to test launch its rocket with a couple of satellites by the end of this year, he added.

“Our maiden rocket launch will be with a couple of satellites from a mobile launch pad or technically called transporter, erector and launcher. The launch will happen from India’s rocket port at Sriharikota belonging to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO),” Pawan Kumar Chandana, Co-Founder and CEO, Skyroot Aerospace told IANS.

Simply put, a TEL is a vehicle that carries the rocket, then elevates to a lift off position where from the rocket blasts off towards the skies.

Queried about the customers with whom Skyroot Aerospace has inked satellite launch agreements Chandana said one launch agreement with another Indian space startup Dhruva Space has been signed and couple of more agreements are in the process.

Chandana however agreed that the company’s Vikram-1 rocket may not be carrying to its full payload capacity of about 225kg on its maiden flight.

“Normally, all maiden flights of new rockets are with dummy payloads. But we have one customer and will be having a couple of more. In terms of payload, the rocket may be carrying 50 per cent of its payload capacity on commercial terms,” Chandana said.

The company is developing three rockets — Vikram 1, 2 and 3- with varying payload capacity.

Chandana expects the government to come out with its final policies relating to the space sector soon.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

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