Skyroot Aerospace

Skyroot Aerospace Private Limited is an Indian private aerospace manufacturer and commercial launch service provider headquartered in Hyderabad.[1][2] The company was founded by former engineers and scientists from ISRO. It aims to develop and launch its own series of small lift launch vehicles especially crafted for the small satellite market.

Skyroot Aerospace
TypePrivate
IndustryAerospace industry
Founded12 June 2018; 4 years ago (2018-06-12)
Founder
  • Pawan Kumar Chandana
  • Naga Bharath Daka
Headquarters,
Key people
Pawan Kumar Chandana (Co-founder, CEO & CTO)
Naga Bharath Daka (COO)
ProductsVikram 1
Vikram II
Vikram III
ServicesLaunch vehicle
RevenuePre-Revenue
Members
  • Pawan Kumar Chandana (CEO & CTO)
  • Naga Bharath Daka (COO, Head Avionics & GNC)
  • V Gnanagandhi (Sr. Vice President, Propulsion)
  • V. Eswaran (Vice President, Propulsion)
  • Mukesh Bansal (Board of Directors & Advisor)
  • M Amardeep (Director - Vehicle Engineering)
  • M Yagnanarayana (Chief Designer & Lead - Fluid Control Components)
  • Dr. A. Subhananda Rao (Chief Consultant & Advisor - Propulsion)
  • Ignatious C.A (Advisor - Avionics)
  • P. Sireesh (Lead - Business Development)
  • Dr. C. V. S. Kiran (Lead - R&D and Strategy)
  • Kunal Gupta (Lead - Org. Strategy and Investments)
Websiteskyroot.in

HistoryEdit

Skyroot Aerospace was formed in July 2018 by former Indian Space Research Organisation scientists Pawan Kumar Chandana, Naga Bharath Daka through the support of Vasudevan Gnanagandhi as well as a small group of entrepreneurs including CureFit founders Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagor.[3] Skyroot has initially raised $4.3 million, including from space and defence contractor Solar Industries.[4] The company has been developing its first launch vehicle, the "Vikram 1," which is on track for its initial launch around the end of 2022.[5][6]

On 6 October 2020, the National Startup Awards 2020 were declared by the Union minister of commerce and industry Piyush Goyal, where Skyroot Aerospace has emerged as the winner. The National Startup Awards are given in recognition of startups across several categories that offer novel solutions for complex problems in the country, and creating businesses that are scalable and sustainable.[7]

On 20 November 2020, Skyroot Aerospace entered into a memorandum of understanding with Dhruva Space, an Indian private satellite manufacturer.[8]

On 2 February 2021, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Skyroot Aerospace signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). The NDA will allow Skyroot Aerospace to access the facilities and technical expertise in ISRO centers to develop their launch vehicles.[9]

On 8 February 2021, Skyroot Aerospace Announced that they partnered with Bellatrix Aerospace to use the Orbital Transfer Vehicle of Bellatrix Aerospace with their Vikram series of Launch Vehicles.[10]

In March 2021, Skyroot Aerospace team won the Aegis Graham Bell Award for Jury choice award under innovation category for the year 2020.[11]

On 20 May 2021, Skyroot Aerospace has raised $11 million in Series A funding round led by promoters of renewable energy firm Greenko Group (Anil Chalamalasetty and Mahesh Kolli), with participation of investors including Solar Industries and former WhatsApp Chief Business Office (CBO) Neeraj Arora, Mukesh Bansal founder of Myntra & Curefit, Worldquant Ventures, Graph Ventures, Sutton Capital, Vedanshu Investments and few other angels. Skyroot Aerospace will be deploying these funds to grow its team and complete the full development and testing of all subsystems of Vikram 1 launch vehicle.

Skyroot has already started bookings for launches starting end 2022 and are actively engaging global customers[12]

The Department of Space has signed its first-ever agreement with Skyroot Aerospace for providing it access to ISRO's facilities and expertise towards testing of sub-systems and systems of launch vehicles. Skyroot Aerospace has, therefore, become the first Indian startup to formally enter into an agreement with ISRO for using its assets since the announcement of the new policy decision of the Government of India in May 2020, when finance minister opened up the space sector and ISRO facilities for private players. Finally on 11 September 2021, ISRO’s scientific secretary and chairman of interim IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre) committee R Umamaheswaran, who represented Department of Space, Skyroot Aerospace CEO Pawan Kumar Chandana and COO Naga Bharath Daka signed this framework MoU.[13]

On 22 September 2021, the list of "The 2021 LinkedIn Top Startups" was revealed with 25 young, emerging companies where India wants to work. Skyroot Aerospace was ranked 7th on this LinkedIn's 2021 Top Startups List in India.[14]

On 27 January 2022, Skyroot Aerospace raised of $4.5 million in a bridge round to Series B funding led by Google's founding board member Ram Shriram's Sherpalo Ventures. The bridge round also witnessed participation by Wami Capital, existing investors – former Whatsapp chief business officer Neeraj Arora and ex-Google executive Amit Singhal. Skyroot plans to use the fund to build the infrastructure required to launch space vehicles. This round aids Skyroot to build critical infrastructure early on and helps accelerate towards their launch of Vikram 1 in 2022. This fresh investment round brings the total capital raised by the startup to around $17 million, which is the largest by an Indian Space start-up yet.[15]

Rebranding
New Logo
 
New Logo
Old Logo
 
Old Logo

On 10 May 2022, Skyroot Aerospace announced their new identity reflecting their ambition to reach the stars with a goal of ‘Opening Space for all’. Their logo subtly crystallizes the acronym ‘SR’ of SKYROOT into a rocket-plane, while the sharp elegant edges represent their cutting-edge tech.[16]

On the 11th May 2022, Skyroot Aerospace was recognized with yet another National Award, the National Technology day 2022. The Technology Startup Award was won by Skyroot Aerospace for Cryogenic, Liquid and Solid Propulsion Technologies catering to the needs of small satellite launch vehicle market. Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State, Science and Technology Minister, has given this prestigious award.[17]

Earth-Storable Rocket EngineEdit

Raman-1Edit

In August 2020, Skyroot first came into the limelight when it test-fired the Raman-I (named after C. V. Raman) hypergolic-fuel upper stage engine. This liquid-fuel upper stage is a component of Vikram-I and Skyroot was the first Indian private entity to test such an engine.[18][19][20][21]

Solid Rocket MotorEdit

Kalam-5Edit

On 22 December 2020, Skyroot tested the solid-fuel rocket engine Kalam-5 (named after A. P. J. Abdul Kalam), the first of five planned carbon-composite Kalam rocket motors which are expected to power its launch vehicles.[22][23][24] The test happened in Nagpur at a private test facility owned by Solar Industries, which is also an investor in Skyroot. In the name "Kalam-5", the 5 refers to the peak sea level thrust of 5.3 kN.[25] The final engine in the series will be four times the size of Kalam-5.

Kalam-100Edit

Skyroot Aerospace, on 19 May 2022, has announced the successful completion of a full duration test-firing of its ‘Vikram-1’ rocket stage, representing a major milestone for the company. Named ‘Kalam-100’ after former president and the renowned Indian rocket scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the third stage of ‘Vikram-1’ produces a peak vacuum thrust of 100 kN (or ~10 Tons) and has a burn time of 108 sec. The rocket stage has been built with high-strength carbon fiber structure, solid fuel, novel thermal protection system, and carbon ablative nozzle. This testing will help Skyroot in development of orbital vehicle Vikram-1 and gives great confidence for the other rocket stages planned to be tested soon. This is best in class rocket stage of this size, with record propellant loading and firing duration and using all carbon composite structure for delivering best performance. This is largest rocket stage ever designed, manufactured, and tested completely in the private sector. There was a good match of test results with the design predictions in the very first attempt, which is a testimony to the team's capabilities. The state-of-the-art technology like carbon composite case, high propellant volumetric loading up to 94%, lighter EPDM based thermal protection system, and submerged nozzle have been validated through the successful static test.[26][27] The video of the firing[28]

Cryogenic rocket engineEdit

Dhawan-1Edit

On 25 September 2020, Skyroot Aerospace unveiled the Dhawan-1 (named after Satish Dhawan) upper stage cryogenic engine that will power heavier-lift systems such as Vikram-II.[29][30] This is the first cryogenic engine in India that will use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel; this fuel has the advantages of being clean, re-usable and suited for long duration space missions. Dhawan-1 is 3D printed and designed with a regenerative cooling configuration.[31]

Skyroot successfully test fired India's first privately developed small cryogenic engine called Dhawan-1 running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquid oxygen (LOX) on 25 November 2021. It was a technology demonstration experiment for the upper stage of Vikram-2 rocket that is under active development. Solar Industries provided the test site. The engine made by 3D printing process and using super alloys.[32]

Launch vehiclesEdit

Skyroot Aerospace has been working on its Vikram series of expendable small lift launchers. Rockets are designed for very quick assemblies.[33] They also have plans to develop a fully reusable vehicle.

Planned rockets in the series
Launch Vehicle Payload capacity First flight Total launches
SSPO
(500 km)
Low Earth orbit
(500 km; 45°)
Vikram 1 290 kg (640 lb) 480 kg (1,060 lb) Dec 2022
(Planned)
0
Vikram II 400 kg (880 lb) 595 kg (1,312 lb) TBD 0
Vikram III 560 kg (1,230 lb) 815 kg (1,797 lb) TBD 0

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Sukumar, C. R. "Skyroot India's first private company to test upper-stage rocket engine". The Economic Times. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  2. ^ Narasimhan, T. E. (12 August 2020). "Skyroot Aerospace first private company to test upper stage rocket engine". Business Standard India. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  3. ^ CR Kumar; Raghu Krishnan (17 April 2019). "With a simpler rocket, Skyroot is eyeing the space". The Economic Times. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  4. ^ Chowdhury, Shubhangi (11 September 2021). "Skyroot Aerospace becomes first private company to formally enter into an agreement with ISRO". IndianStartupNews. Archived from the original on 11 September 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  5. ^ Etherington, Darrell (12 August 2020). "India's first private space launch startup Skyroot succeeds with upper-stage engine fire test". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  6. ^ "India's first private player to successfully test a homegrown rocket engine is on track for its first full rocket launch by 2021". Business Insider. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  7. ^ "3 Hyderabad firms bag top startup awards | Hyderabad News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  8. ^ Dhruva Space [@DhruvaSpace] (20 November 2020). "Broadening the value of our Space and Launch Services we entered into an MoU with @SkyrootA today, India's very own Private Launch Provider. #NewSpace #Satellite #Launch #NewSpaceIndia #skyroot #DhruvaSpace t.co/cT0aWdX25h" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 January 2021 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ "Non-Disclosure Agreement signed with M/S Skyroot - ISRO".
  10. ^ @SkyrootA (8 February 2021). "We are delighted to announce our..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ @AegisGrahamBell (1 March 2021). "Congratulations Pawan K Chandana and Skyroot team for winning the Aegis Graham Bell Jury's Choice Award" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 1 March 2021 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ "Skyroot Aerospace raises $11 million in Series-A round led by Greenko founders - Times of India". The Times of India.
  13. ^ "In a first, space dept signs pact with Hyderabad startup to provide access to Isro facilities | Hyderabad News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  14. ^ "LinkedIn Top Startups 2021: The 25 Indian companies on the rise".
  15. ^ "Skyroot raises funding led by Google's Ram Shriram". 27 January 2022.
  16. ^ "Rebranding". Twitter. 10 May 2022. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  17. ^ "National Award for Technology Startups". Twitter. 11 May 2022. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  18. ^ PTI (13 August 2020). "Hyderabad startup Skyroot Aerospace test-fires upper stage rocket engine 'Raman'". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 9 January 2022. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  19. ^ Pandey, Ashish (14 August 2020). "Hyderabad-based startup Skyroot Aerospace's Raman: India's first homegrown rocket engine". India Today. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  20. ^ Goyal, Shikha (17 August 2020). "First Indian start-up firm Skyroot Aerospace to test fire rocket engine 'Raman': All you need to know". Jagran Josh. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  21. ^ "Skyroot Aerospace becomes first Indian startup to test upper-stage rocket engine". The Asian Age. 13 August 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  22. ^ "Skyroot tests solid propulsion rocket engine, aims at a rocket by 2021 end". The Economic Times. 28 December 2020. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  23. ^ Etherington, Darrell (29 December 2020). "Skyroot successfully test fires India's first privately-made solid rocket stage". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 10 November 2021.
  24. ^ Skyroot Aerospace: Kalam-5 Solid Rocket Motor Test Fire, retrieved 25 November 2021
  25. ^ "Skyroot Aerospace becomes first Indian company to test-fire solid-fueled rocket engine". 28 December 2020.
  26. ^ Skyroot successfully test fires space launch vehicle ‘Vikram-1’ rocket stage, retrieved 19 May 2022
  27. ^ Indian launch startup Skyroot successfully completes full-duration stage test, retrieved 19 May 2022
  28. ^ Static Fire Test, Vikram-1 Stage 3, Kalam-100, retrieved 19 May 2022
  29. ^ Burgess2020-09-25T09:58:00+01:00, Molly. "Skyroot Aerospace unveils cryogenic rocket engine". gasworld. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  30. ^ Siddarth MP (25 September 2020). "Startup Skyroot Aerospace unveils India's first privately developed Cryogenic Rocket engine". Zee News. Archived from the original on 25 September 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  31. ^ "Space startup unveils India's first privately developed Cryogenic Rocket engine". WION. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  32. ^ Kumar, Chethan (25 November 2021). "Cryogenic: India's first private cryogenic engine test fired by Skyroot". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  33. ^ "Launch Vehicle". Skyroot Aerospace. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2020.

External linksEdit