India’s space regulator on Wednesday authorised the launch of the first private sector rocket Vikram-S, a suborbital vehicle developed by Skyroot Aerospace.

“The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) authorises the maiden launch by a private Indian space start-up Skyroot Aerospace to fly Vikram-S suborbital vehicle on November 18, 2022, between 11 am and 12 pm from sounding rocket complex, Satish Dhawan Space Centre of ISRO,” IN-SPACe, the space regulator, said.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh will be present at Sriharikota to witness the maiden launch of the privately-developed rocket. Singh said the launch of Vikram-S will be a major milestone in the journey of ISRO after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unlocked the space sector in India two years ago for private participation.

He said Skyroot Aerospace has developed the Vikram-S, a single-stage spin-stabilised solid propellant rocket with a mass of approximately 550 kilograms. He said the rocket goes to the max altitude of 101 kilometers and splashes into the sea and the overall duration of the launch is 300 seconds only.

Singh said that Skyroot was the first startup to sign an MoU with ISRO for launching its rockets. The Union minister said space sector reforms have unleashed the innovative potential of start-ups and within a short span of time, about 102 start-ups were working in cutting-edge areas of space debris management, nano-satellite, launch vehicle, ground systems, and research.