Rocket launch startup Skyroot is closing in 2020 with an important milestone in its Vikram-I launch vehicle development program: successful test firing of a solid rocket propulsion stage demonstrator of the same technology used in production Vikram serves as. . This is the first time a private Indian company has designed, built and tested a solid rocket propulsion stage in its entirety, and as follows A successful engine burn test of an upper stage prototype earlier this year.
Skyrot built its solid rocket stage using a carbon composite structure, the manufacturing process of which is fully automated, the company says. This allows one to realize the weight savings of use versus steel five times, a material commonly used to house solid rocket propellant stages. The goal is to use the same process in production of the final version of the Vikram-I, which will help the small launch vehicle realize larger benefits in terms of cost, in addition to reliability benefits that come with a relatively simple basic design. Solid rockets, which have no moving parts, and therefore have fewer failure opportunities.
The final third stage Vikram-1 engine will be 4 times the size of this demonstrator, and Skyrot is in the process of manufacturing four other test solid rocket motors that have a thrust range, which will be tested throughout the course. As of next year the work finishes on their construction.
Skyrot aims to launch its first Vikram-1 by next December, supported by the Indian Space Research Organization. The company has raised $ 4.3 million so far, and says it is currently in the process of raising another $ 15 million. Which will aim to close it next year. It became the first private Indian company to manufacture and operate private launch vehicles with a regulatory framework to allow private launcher operations to begin in India earlier this year.