The Department of Space has entered into a framework memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hyderabad-based spacetech startupfor access to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facilities and expertise towards the development and testing of subsystems/systems of space launch vehicles.
This makes Skyroot Aerospace the first private company to formally enter into an agreement with ISRO.
According to a statement, the Framework MoU will enable the company for undertaking multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO centres, and also enable them to avail technical expertise of ISRO for testing and qualifying their space launch vehicle systems and subsystems.
Skyroot Aerospace founders: Naga Bharath Daka (left) and Pawan Kumar Chandana
In December last year, Skyroot had announced a successful test firing of its solid propulsion rocket stage named Kalam-5. According to the company, this is the first time that a private company has successfully designed, developed and tested a full solid propulsion rocket stage.
Founded in 2018 by former ISRO scientists Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka, Skyroot Aerospace is developing privately built space launch vehicles. Its core product, Vikram series — named after ISRO founder Dr Vikram Sarabhai — consists of three launch vehicles developed especially for launching small satellites.
In May this year, Skyroot had raised $11 million in Series A funding round led by Greenko Group founders, Anil Chalamalasetty and Mahesh Kolli. The round also saw participation from the Solar Group and former WhatsApp CBO, Neeraj Arora. Existing investors Mukesh Bansal, Founder of Myntra & Curefit; Worldquant Ventures, Graph Ventures, Sutton Capital, Vedanshu Investments, and few other angels also participated in the round.
“This round adds more fuel to our rocket programme, and will support in completing development and testing of all subsystems of our first launch vehicle Vikram-1, and strengthening our world class team. We started bookings for launches starting from mid next year, and are actively engaging global customers,” Naga Bharath Daka, co-founder and COO had said in a statement.