Spacetech startup Skyroot Aerospace announced a successful test-firing of its solid propulsion rocket stage named Kalam-5. The Hyderabad-based startup claims to be the first private firm that successfully designed, developed and tested a full solid propulsion rocket stage.
"Kalam-5 is a demonstrator solid rocket propulsion stage with exactly the same propellant, materials, and interfaces as the three solid propulsion stages of the Vikram-1 launch vehicle. It gives a peak Sea Level thrust of 5.3kN and designed to take 66 atmospheres and 30,000 C of combustion pressure and temperature respectively,” YourStory quoted Skyroot Aerospace's CEO Pawan Kumar Chandana as saying.
Hyderabad-based startup successfully test-fires first homegrown upper-stage rocket engine
The Skyroot Aerospace's solid propulsion rocket stage has been built with an advanced carbon composite structure, which is five-times lighter than a steel case. This is a completely automated process and indigenous production.
The firm even mentioned that Kalam-5 is the first of five Kalam series of solid rocket motors, while the rest four are expected to be tested next year.
Chandana added that Kalam-5 uses 15 different types of advanced materials and has nine manufacturing processes, with zero moving parts. "This is a major milestone for Skyroot and for the Indian private space sector. The test results closely matched our predictions and this success gives great confidence for our Vikram-I vehicle development," he said.
Among other details, Chandana and Skyroot Aerospace's co-founder Naga Bharath Daka stated that their firm is planning to build a family of rockets and with the help of ISRO, their first vehicle -- Vikram-I, is expected to be launched in December 2021. Skyroot Aerospace's Vikram series consists of three launch vehicles developed especially for launching small satellites by ISRO and other space research organisations.
Until now, the startup has raised Rs 31.5 crore and is in the process of raising another Rs 90 crore in 2020 and 2021. Earlier in June 2020, the Union Cabinet approved private player participation in space to transform the space sector.