Skyroot Aerospace plans reusable rocket technology in next seven to eight years: Experts call it a complex project, ‘funds will be key’

The Indian space industry has been synonymous with ISRO for over a few decades, but it’s been more than two years since the Indian government revealed its intentions to open the space sector to private stakeholders.

The response has been ever since mind blogging as the country has already experienced some crucial achievements undertaken by prominent private companies. For example, Skyroot Aerospace is the latest to join the league as it launched India’s first private rocket on November 18 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

Meanwhile, Pawan Kumar Chandana, chief executive of Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace, revealed that his team is developing reusable rocket engines. According to Skyroot CEO, the booster stage of a rocket is the engine that helps it achieve ‘escape velocity’, following which the booster detaches from the main rocket, re-enters Earth, and uses small motors to land.

“The engine, or the booster, thus can be reused for future missions, saving costs for a rocket launch services form. Elon Musk’s SpaceX is the only firm to have managed this feat,” said Mr. Chandana.

Dr. Surendra Pal, a former senior adviser at satellite navigation ISRO, believes that reusable rocket technology is rather economical and useful for large rockets.

He further informed me that the technology of reusable technology is a time-taking process and demands a lot of funds, a team of the highest degree and commitment, and the suitability of large rockets. “I have apprehension about using reusable rocket technology for a small rocket. A large objective must be achieved using reusable rocket technology,” Dr. Pal explains.

Earlier, Mr. S Somnath, Secretary of the Department of Space and Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), confirmed that ISRO is working towards the same direction.

While speaking at the side-lines of Bengaluru Space Expo 2022, Mr. Somnath confirmed that ISRO is planning to build a new reusable rocket for the global market that would significantly cut the cost of launching satellites.

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“We must bring it down to USD 5,000 or even USD 1,000 per kg. The only way to do that is to make the rocket reusable. Today in India, we don’t have reusable technology in launch vehicle rockets. So, the idea is the next rocket that we are going to build after GSLV MK II should be a reusable rocket,” Mr. Somnath said.

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