Many of us think that India hasn't any Private rocket Company but that's not true. India also has some private space companies.

We will start with the youngest company and the oldest company in the last. Before the last company I will inform you about an Indian Aerospace company which will launch satellites this year.

Skyroot

let's talk about Skyroot Aerospace. It is Founded in 2018, founded by Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka. They both have previously worked at ISRO previously Pawan has worked at ISRO for about 6-7 years.

Not just Pawan, but a lot of people from the Skyroot leadership team are former ISRO employees so they have a lot of experience and bringing the ISRO heritage. So many people have worked on rockets previously.

Let's learn about the rockets, Skyroot has 3 rockets under development the 1st rocket is the base for the other 2 rockets. 

Vikram 1:

Let's learn about the 1st rocket Vikram 1, in a little detail, rockets start with the word Vikram as a tribute to Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. Vikram 1 is a 3 stage rocket it's 19m tall it can put 225kg to SSPO and 315 kg to 45 deg inclination at 500km altitude. 3 stages are entirely Solid rocket.

There is a small velocity trimming final stage. This is for final adjustments. This uses a liquid bipropellant engine this is also restartable. Pawan informed that the 1st stage produces 100 tonnes of thrust meaning around 890KN so if you compare ISRO's High Thrust Vikas Engine(HTVE) (not the normal VIKAS engine) it's even more than that HTVE produces around 846KN. So a lot of thrust in this little Rocket.

Yaw is controlled by the thrust vector control so the nozzle will gimbal and roll by RCS, so gas thrusters will tell you about the launchpad. Skyroot claims it can be launched in 24hrs so they will manufacture and keep rockets so as soon as an order is received they can arrange a launch for you.

Vikram 2:

Now let's learn about Vikram 2, 410kg to 500km SSPO and 520kg to 45deg. inclination 500km altitude. This has a special 3rd stage that works on Methalox meaning the fuel is methane and liquid oxygen. It will use autogenous pressurization, so no separate tanks to pressurize the tanks so a tap off will be taken from the tank, fuel heated and pressurize the tank the development of this stage has started and progressed well hence multi-orbit insertion capability. 

Vikram 3:

Vikram 3 is basically Vikram 2 but comes with Starp on boosters and a bigger fairing 580 kg to SSPO and 720kg to 45 deg. inclination.

So these were the rockets. Now lets come to the info, not in public Vikram 1 is scheduled to launch next year-end (Dec 2021) might get delayed due to the current situation(COVID-19) although the youngest company still the fastest this might be the 1st to launch from India.

Where do they launch from? They have no plans to make a launchpad so they are planning to use a mobile launcher. You saw those big missiles launch from a big Truck (basically a launcher which you can carry anywhere).

They were even planning to launch from a foreign country, so the mobile launcher will be separately shipped the rocket will be shipped separately without the nozzle wherever the client wants they can assemble it and launch.

This was the initial plan but now since the government has announced new rules so they could use the ISRO facilities so wither deploy the launcher from Sriharikota or from Thoothukudi from where SSLV is supposed to launch.

The planning even bigger rocket running on Methalox and can put satellites into a geostationary Orbit and be reusable and will be announced soon. It might be Vikram 4 but I am also guessing this is some exclusive interesting information for you. They have a very neat website.
Visit Website: https://skyroot.in/

Agnikul

let's learn about the next rocket company founded in 2017 based in Chennai founded by Srinath Ravichandran and Moin SPM. Companies incubated in IIT Madras.

Incubator story of this name is very interesting word Agnikul is a derivative of the word Gurukul that means a place where you learn to play with fire or use fire.

The name of the rocket is Agniban which means arrow of fire. Agnibaan is a 2 stage rocket with a velocity trimming 3rd stage completely 3D printed engine engines run on liquid oxygen and kerosene. 1st stage produces 140 KN of thrust. 2nd Stage uses of vacuum optimized version of the first engine producing 20KN. 

The first mission is to make affordable Earth orbit launches. The next mission is to have affordable lunar flyby missions rocket. Height is around 18 meters they were the very different implementation of this Rocket to be done in the future planning to perform their launch using a balloon.

Srinath described this as balloon Staging, on Twitter the first stage is the balloon and the later stages of the rocket become the next stages. Srinath said there could be two challenges here carrying liquid oxygen to such high altitude controlling top-off, boil-off, and orientation.

If everything goes to plan they have plans to launch their rocket from a foreign country as well they might own their own launch pads in those countries. Agnikul has a big focus on 3D printing and they are always posting updates.
Visit Website: https://agnikul.in/

Pixxel

Pixxel

We will learn about the next company but as I had told you it's an Aerospace company Pixxel. They are planning to launch 24 high-resolution Earth observation satellites generate data from this and more if you own a Farm you could basically get to know from space, if your firm is doing good or doing badly.


They will launch on a Russian Soyuz rocket. This is because, If your company is based in India and you choose to go through ANTRIX who handles ISRO commercial launches then you will have to pay 18% GST for launch but if you are from a foreign Nation you will not be taxed so we might not see Indian companies launching from India for some time.


This is their microsatellites Engineering model the camera on a rotating platform because the camera that Pixxel is going to use is a line scan camera it is not like a regular phone camera which is a square or rectangle in this case, it is a line of pixels so when the camera moves it processes the image sat will move naturally in Orbit but they have to simulate it in the lab.
Visit Website: https://pixxel.space/

Bellatrix

It was founded in 2011 by Rohan M Ganapathy and Yashash Karanam. The rocket name of this company is Chetak.

Chetak:

Now let's learn about the rocket. Rocket is around 19m tall, 2 stage vehicle, 150kg to 700km SSPO. 1st stage has 4 Aeon engines each engine produces 41KN so a total of 164KN. 1st stage is reusable. It will perform a return to launch site recovery but not sure exactly

These engines run on Methalox and are already developed. These are probably India's 1st methalox engines. We know ISRO is working on them but no info in public demo. Stages will use autogenous pressurization body and tanks made of composites of carbon fiber the same as Skyroot.

They plan to launch the rocket from Thoothukudi using a mobile launcher. ISRO too planning a mobile launcher for SSLV.

There's a sad news the development of this rocket is going on hold. Engines are already ready. Reason being their main business is not rockets the main business is even more interesting. There are many reasons, the main reason is money. you get a lot of attention but the profits earned as not much as you think. It may bring out of the hold.

Planning to use of vacuum optimized version of the first stage engine on the second stage it's a little sad it was supposed to cost 2 million dollars which is good considering 150 kg. Although it may increase if they restart development.

They had plans to make a rocket called Garuda after this rocket which will be even more powerful so that this too is probably on hold so what is the main business?

Their main business is in space propulsion which means making propulsion elements for satellites and other things very few companies across the world working on such Technologies. They are working on two kinds of propulsion, green propulsion, and electric propulsion. Electric is the more interesting one.


Industry uses very toxic fuels in the satellites dangerous and carcinogenic fuels used currently in satellites working on green propellant which is safer they are working along with ISRO for this, so if you have heard the news on ISRO green propellant, it probably was this. They are working for a long time with ISRO on this.

Now let's talk about the interesting part, which they are working with ISRO too, that is electric propulsion. If you see a satellite most of the part is occupied by fuel with electric propulsion. We could make propulsion more efficient and reduce the weight of the satellite. The disadvantage being the thrust will be less and it will take time to turn on or turn off the engine.

This thruster will use water as a fuel. ISRO once had tried electric propulsion but those were Russian engines. They are developing 2 kinds of thrusters electric one is a Microwave Electrothermal Thruster (MET) and Hall Effect Thruster.

MET produces higher thrust at a lower efficiency Hall Effect Thruster produces less thrust but at very high efficiency. We will see a MET launch on an ISRO satellite, so if you read media reports next year stating ISRO is launching an electric thruster, it could be from Bellatrix.

ISRO is also developing electric thrust but it is a Hall Effect Thruster. Bellatrix is doing a very unique job very few are doing this job in this world. They will soon announce the world's smallest electric thruster for nanosatellites.

Indian celebrity Deepika Padukone has invested in this company. So I hope you enjoyed this article. What do you think about these private space companies, let me know in the comment section below? If you really enjoyed it then don't forget to share it with your friends.

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