India test fires first Private Upper Stage Rocket Engine
The Aerospace Start up Skyroot Aerospace has test fired an
upper stage rocket engine and has become the first Indian private company to
demonstrate the capability of homegrown rocket engine.
The 3D printed rocket engine was named after the Nobel
Laureate Sir C V Raman.
The rocket had fewer moving parts and weighed half of
conventional rocket engines. According to the master minds that developed the
rocket, it is capable of multiple restarts. Also, it is capable of inserting
various satellites into multiple orbits in a single mission.
Skyroot Aerospace: A Fact File
The rocket was developed by the Skyroot firm that is headquartered
at Hyderabad. The firm is backed by Curefit founders Mukesh Bansal and Ankit
The Skyroot Aerospace was
founded by former scientists of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization).
The firm demonstrated the first 100% 3D printed
bi-propellant liquid rocket engine injector. This rocket had its overall mass
reduced by 50% and total number of components and lead time reduced by 80%.
The first rocket that is to be launched in lower earth orbit
weighs around 250-700 kgs. It is expected to be launched by 2021.
India had recently opened its space sector to its private
players such as Skyroot, Bellatrix and Agnikul. They are building small
launchers with 3-D printed engines.
This is bringing down the cost of satellite
launching. Also, this methodology is gaining bigger pie of global small
satellite launch market.
The research firm Frost and Sullivan is to launch more than
10,000 small satellites globally in the next decade.
In June 2020, GoI introduced a major reform in space sector
by opening doors to private sectors.
This will allow the space research
organization to focus more on development activities, exploration, new
technologies, exploration mission and also human space flight programmes.
A new Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation
Centre (IN-SPACe) was created to provide level playing field for the private
companies to use Indian space infrastructure.