India is emerging as a great space nation

Vikram-S, India’s first private rocket, took off on Friday from the island of Andhra Pradesh. -/AFP

New Delhi, which aims for the Moon and Mars, celebrates the maiden flight of its first private rocket.

“A new beginning, and even a new dawn (…) for the Indian space project.” Jitendra Singh, Minister of Science, did not hide his pride and enthusiasm on Friday after the successful takeoff of India’s first private rocket. Vikram-S, a half-ton launcher, took off from the southern island of Andhra Pradesh. And reached an altitude of 90 km, the frontier of space, before sinking into the sea.

This demonstration flight paves the way for other shots towards higher and higher orbits. This rocket symbolizes India’s rise, to establish itself as a great space nation. In this ultra-demanding field, all the launchers have, over the course of the versions, conquered space in stages, to reach geostationary orbit (GEO, 36,000 km from the Earth). Vikram-S, designed by the start-up Skyroot Aerospace, illustrates the dynamism of Indian NewSpace as well as the excellence of Indian engineers. Under the leadership of Isro, the space agency…

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