India launches its first privately made space rocket

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India’s first privately-developed Vikram-S rocket was successfully launched from the Indian Space Agency’s launch site near Chennai, on November 18.

The 545-kg rocket, named “Prarambh” (“Start”), travelled in an arc and reached a peak altitude of 89.5 km. This was just shy of the Karman line at 100 km altitude, that separates Earth from outer space.

The midday launch was live telecast by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

It eventually splashed down in the Bay of Bengal about 5 minutes after launch, officials said.

The single-stage, solid-fuel rocket was built with “carbon composite structures and 3D-printed components,” according to startup Skyroot Aerospace that developed the rocket.

Compared to current platforms, Skyroot seeks to reduce development costs for launching small satellites by up to 90%. Starting next year, it intends to carry out satellite-delivery launches.

In order to supplement its publicly-funded space program, which is renowned for its low-cost launches and missions, the Modi has been working to create a commercial space sector. It seeks to increase its current 2% space economy share to 8% globally.