Well, space surely seems to be the new destination for people the world over. We had Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos go up into space and return back before one could blink their eyes. Now, Hyderabad seems to be making a place for itself in this 'space. 'Co-founders of Skyroot Aerospace and ex-IIT alumni Pawan Kumar of Kharagpur IIT and Naga Bharath of Chennai IIT successfully tested Dhawan-1.
It became the country's first privately developed fully cryogenic rocket engine running on two high-performance rocket propellants – liquid natural gas (LNG) and liquid oxygen (LoX) last month. The indigenous engine was developed by using a 3D printing concept with a superalloy.
Now, the firm is on an upward growth trajectory to aim at launching India's first private space launch vehicle using cryogenic engine 'Vikram 2' into orbit in two years' time. Prior to that, the duo intended to launch their first 20 meters tall 'Vikram 1' vehicle based on a solid propulsion engine into space. This will be done once they successfully design and develop the solid propulsion rocket engine, the first private firm in India to do so.
The duo is mighty excited at the prospect of turning entrepreneurs from being space enthusiasts. They say, the world over, the private sector is driving innovations at a low cost. They further add that there was no regulatory framework when they started out three years ago and reveal that they are now on the brink of testing multiple engines.
They were lucky to have financial banking from Mukesh Bansal (Myntra founder), who himself happens to be a space enthusiast. Skyroot is now working simultaneously on solid propulsion and liquid propulsion engines named after Kalam and Satish Dhawan, while the launch vehicle is named after Vikram Sarabhai.
The firm has already won a national award for start-ups in space research and has had an online interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, apart from accolades from various quarters.