First privately built Indian space rocket launches | Tech News

First privately built Indian space rocket launches

The half-tonne Vikram-S rocket launched before midday local time and travelled in an arc.

By:AFP
| Updated on: Nov 19 2022, 16:23 IST
Joy! NASA’s asteroid mission achieved mission impossible, created history
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1/6 Nasa’s DART was the first demonstration of the “kinetic impactor” method of asteroid mitigation. This was the first time, when humans altered the path of a celestial body purposefully. (AFP)
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2/6 NASA chief Bill Nelson said, “All of us have a responsibility to protect our home planet. After all, it’s the only one we have. This mission shows that NASA is trying to be ready for whatever the universe throws at us.” He added that the US agency has proven that it can defend the planet. (via REUTERS)
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3/6 Before the crash, asteroid Dimorphous took about 11 hours and 55 minutes to orbit the larger asteroid Didymos, whereas, post crash, it took only 11 hours and 23 minutes to orbit the larger asteroid. (via REUTERS)
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4/6 DART impact has shortened the orbit by 32 minutes. None of these space rocks - Dimorphous as well as Didymos pose any threat to our planet, hence it was an ideal target to carry out the DART mission. At the time of collision, the DART spacecraft was traveling at 14000 (22,530-kmph) miles per hour. (via REUTERS)
ISRO
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6/6 Didymos, the larger asteroid of the binary pair is about a half mile (780 meters or 2559 feet) in diameter. The moonlet, Dimorphos, is about 525 feet (160 meters) in diameter. (via REUTERS)
ISRO
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The rocket, developed by local startup Skyroot Aerospace, reached a peak altitude of 90 kilometres. (ISRO)

The first privately developed Indian rocket lifted off into the upper reaches of the atmosphere on Friday, in another milestone in the country's push to become a major space power.

The half-tonne Vikram-S rocket launched before midday local time and travelled in an arc, live footage from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) showed.

It safely splashed down into the sea six minutes later, according to the agency.

The rocket, developed by local startup Skyroot Aerospace, reached a peak altitude of 90 kilometres (55 miles), below the internationally recognised 100-km Karman line that separates Earth from outer space.

"It is indeed a new beginning, a new dawn... in the journey of India's space programme," science minister Jitendra Singh said after the launch to a crowd of cheering technicians at the ISRO's launch facility on the southern island of Sriharikota.

The single-stage, solid-fuel rocket was built with "carbon composite structures and 3D-printed components", the government said Thursday ahead of the first Vikram-S mission, named "Prarambh" ("Start").

India has been bolstering its space programme in recent years, including a crewed mission with Russian backing slated for 2023 or 2024.

Its capabilities and ambitions have grown, highlighted by the success of its rockets and missions beyond Earth.

In 2014, India became the first Asian nation to reach Mars with its Mangalyaan orbiter. Hailed for its low cost, that mission put India in a small club including the United States, Russia and the European Union.

And in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed India as a "space superpower" after it shot down a low-orbiting satellite, a move prompting criticism for the amount of "space junk" it created.

India is also working to boost its two percent share of the global commercial space market.

In October, ISRO's heaviest rocket yet successfully put 36 broadband satellites in low earth orbit.

Experts say India can keep costs low by copying and adapting existing space technology, and thanks to an abundance of highly skilled engineers who earn a fraction of their foreign counterparts' wages.

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First Published Date: 19 Nov, 16:22 IST
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