Hyderabad: Skyroot Aerospace, a space-tech company, has successfully test-fired the Stage-2 of Vikram-1 space launch vehicle, called Kalam-250, at the propulsion testbed of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), at its Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

The city-based firm in a press release on Thursday said Vikram-1 launch is slated to be a landmark event for the Indian space sector as its first private orbital rocket launch, and follows the remarkable suborbital space launch of India's first private rocket - the Vikram-S by Skyroot in November 2022.

The test, done on Wednesday, which lasted 85 seconds, recorded a peak sea-level thrust of 186 kilonewtons (kN), which will translate to a fully expanded vacuum thrust of around 235 kN in flight, it said.

The Kalam-250 is a high-strength carbon composite rocket motor, which uses solid fuel and a high-performance Ethylene-Propylene-Diene terpolymers (EPDM) thermal protection system (TPS).

Pawan Chandana, Co-Founder and CEO said, "This is a significant milestone for the Indian space industry, marking the successful test of the largest propulsion system ever designed and manufactured by the Indian private sector so far, and the first carbon composite-built motor tested at ISRO.

"All test parameters are within expected bounds, and this achievement takes us another step closer to the upcoming orbital launch of the Vikram-1 rocket," he said.

Naga Bharath Daka, Co-Founder and COO of Skyroot, said, "In this landmark test, we validated the critical system for the launch—the flex nozzle control system—during firing for the first time, making this an important milestone in our journey. We have a few more milestones to cross and are focused on achieving them in the coming months to reach our maiden orbital launch of the Vikram-1 in 2024." The test also had an important contribution from another centre of ISRO, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), which supplied its proprietary head-mounted safe arm (HMSA) for the test, used for the safe operation of the rocket stage, the release added.

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