ISRO Missions and Discoveries

Vikram-S: India’s first private sector rocket  


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Vikram-S

Mains level: Privatization of space activities


India’s first privately developed rocket, Vikram-S, is set for launch between November 12 and 16.


  • Vikram-S is India’s first privately developed rocket and is all set to be launched as part of the Prarambh space mission.
  • It is a single-stage sub-orbital launch vehicle which would carry three customer payloads and help test and validate the majority of the technologies in the Vikram series of space launch vehicles.
  • It was developed by the Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace.
  • The Prarambh mission is aimed at carrying three payloads into space, including a 2.5-kilogram payload that has been developed by students from several countries.
  • Skyroot’s launch vehicles are named ‘Vikram’ as a tribute to the founder of the Indian space program and renowned scientist Vikram Sarabhai.

Significance of the mission

  • With this mission, Skyroot is set to become the first private space company in India to launch a rocket into space.
  • It is heralding a new era for the space sector which was opened up in 2020 to facilitate private sector participation.
  • The Prarambh mission was extensively supported from ISRO and IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre).

Back2Basics: IN-SPACE

  • The establishment of IN-SPACe was announced in June 2020.
  • It is an autonomous and single window nodal agency in the Department of Space for the promotion, encouragement and regulation of space activities of both government and private entities.
  • It also facilitates the usage of ISRO facilities by private entities.
  • It comprises technical experts for space activities along with safety expert, academic experts and legal and strategic experts from other departments.
  • It also comprises members from PMO and MEA of Government of India.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Space activities including building of launch vehicles and satellites and providing space based services as per the definition of space activities.
  • Sharing of space infrastructure and premises under the control of ISRO with due considerations to on-going activities.
  • Establishment of temporary facilities within premises under ISRO control based on safety norms and feasibility assessment

How is it different from ANTRIX?

  • Antrix Corporation Limited (ACL), Bengaluru is a wholly-owned Government of India Company under the administrative control of the Department of Space.
  • It is as a marketing arm of ISRO for promotion and commercial exploitation of space products, technical consultancy services and transfer of technologies developed by ISRO.
  • Antrix is engaged in providing Space products and services to international customers worldwide.

What about New Space India Limited (NSIL)?

  • It functions under the administrative control of the Department of Space (DOS).
  • It aims to commercially exploit the research and development work of ISRO Centres and constituent units of DOS.
  • The NSIL would enable Indian Industries to scale up high-technology manufacturing and production base for meeting the growing needs of the Indian space program.
  • It would further spur the growth of Indian Industries in the space sector.


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