Skyroot Aerospace was started from the incubator T-Hub i.e. Technology Hub in Rayadurg, Hyderabad. Pawan Kumar Chandna and Naga Bharat Daka, two former scientists of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), together planned to start a private aerospace company from this incubator. They named it Skyroot Aerospace.
About five years ago, in July 2018, the doors to space started opening for private companies like Skyroot. After that, on August 23, 2023, Chandrayaan-3 landed on the surface of the Moon and the fortunes of companies related to space technology started touching the sky. Skyroot Aerospace has now become the spacetech startup with the highest investment in India. So far it has raised 9.5 crore dollars i.e. about Rs 789 crore.
The latest investment came about two months after Chandrayaan-3 landed on the Moon, in which it raised $27.5 million, or about Rs 225 crore. In October it also showed off its second rocket, Vikram-1, which is expected to launch early next year. Chandna, co-founder and CEO of Skyroot, said, ‘The landing of Chandrayaan-3 was in the headlines. After that, people showed a lot of interest in investment and cooperation for us.
India has now become the fourth country to land on the Moon after America, former Soviet Union and China. But it is the only country which has landed on the south pole of the Moon. Conquest of the Moon was an important achievement of the country this year. But on September 2, a week after the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3, India also sent Aditya L1 to the Sun from ISRO Space Center in Sriharikota. India is the second country, which has sent its mission to the Sun.
According to the Indian Space Association, by the end of November, Indian space startups have raised $124 million. In 2022 this figure was $120 million. This year, 54 new such startups came, taking their total number to 204. In the year 2020, the number of space startups was only 82.
Association Director General AK Bhatt said, ‘The success of Chandrayaan and the subsequent Aditya Mission reestablished India’s capability in the field of space. It also had a deep impact on the private sector.
The Artemis agreement signed between US space agency NASA and ISRO in June marks India’s collaboration with the 27th country in space exploration. This will help India’s private space companies expand their global footprint and increase India’s share in the space economy.
The approval given by the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACE) to OneWeb India to launch commercial satellite broadband services has enhanced India’s stature in global connectivity. Encouraged by the government’s encouragement, many major companies have started entering the space sector. Tata Advanced Systems has signed an agreement with North Carolina-based company Satellilogic Inc. to develop local space technology. The consortium of HAL and L&T is ready to land in this area with the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket.
Soon we are going to say goodbye to 2023. But according to experts, it will be remembered as the golden year of the Indian space sector.
First Published – December 18, 2023 | 8:19 AM IST
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