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Skyroot Aerospace founders have roots with ISRO

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Sriharikota, (Andhra Pradesh): What is the success formula of the maiden mission of India’s first private rocket Vikram-S –the Founders of the Hyderabad-based space startup Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka–have their roots with ISRO.

It was their tenure with ISRO–at VSSC–that prompted them to start their own venture to make indigenous rocket Vikram-S (titled Prarambh–a beginning), named after Father of India’s space programme, Vikram Sarabhai, and taste success in their first ever mission, also a first by a private player, virtually ending the monopoly enjoyed by the Indian Space Agency.

The six m tall, with a lift off mass of 545 kg, took off from the Sounding Rocket Centre at SHAR Range, injected the three payloads and splashed into the sea.

The entire mission lasted around 300 seconds. All the parameters were met as planned in this mission, Skyroot Aerospace said.

The two founders were alumni of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)–Chandana from IIT Kharagpur and Daka from IIT Madras, according to details in the Skyroot website.

Chandana, a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering and a M.Tech in Thermal Science and Engineering worked with the ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram for nearly six years – 2012-2018.

Daka is a “Former Flight computer engineer at VSSC (2012-15). He worked at the flight computers group, avionics at VSSC and designed and realized multiple Avionics modules for Indian launch vehicles.

Both of them founded the Skyroot in 2018. Following is the chronology.

June-2018
Skyroot established on 12-Jun-2018 with seed funding from Mukesh Bansal.

August-2020
Becomes the 1st Indian private company to successfully test fire a full-scale liquid propulsion engine.

September-2020
Develops India’s 1st privately built 3D printed cryogenic engine in 2 days.

October-2020
Skyroot wins the prestigious National Start-up Award 2020.

December-2020

1st Indian Pvt. Company to develop and successfully test fire a solid rocket stage.

July-2021
Raises Series a funding round worth US$11Mn

September-2021
1st Indian private start-up to sign MoU with ISRO for facilities and expertise.

November-2021
First Indian company to successfully test fire a 3D printed fully cryogenic engine.

January-2022
Raised additional US$4.5m, with the total funds raised at US$17m

May-2022
Wins National Award from Department of Science and Technology.

May-2022
Successfully completes full duration test-firing of Vikram-1 rocket stage.

November-2022 :
Sucessfully launches its first maiden rocket.

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