Indian Startups Skyroot And Dhruv Space Eye-Tech’s Final Frontier – Space Tourism
December 16, 2022: Skyroot Aerospace is working on a plan to develop reusable rockets for human spaceflight, targeting the lucrative space travel industry.
Dhruv Space’s founders say their company can supply vital technology for space tourism. Three American companies, Elon Musk‘s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos‘ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, conducted their first space-tourism flights in 2021.
Two startups—Skyroot Aerospace and Dhruv Space—pushed India’s private sector into space with satellite and rocket launches last month.
The sky is not the limit for these Hyderabad-based companies, as they eye the exciting next field of ultimate frontier-space tourism. Skyroot Aerospace, founded in 2018, launched the privately developed Vikram S, a 545-Kg rocket, into space on November 18, 2022 as part of a mission named ‘Prarambh’ (Launch).
Founders Pawan Kumar Chandna and Naga Bharath Dhaka now want to make space travel as affordable as air travel.
Chandana believes that the common man can travel and access the space – whether he enters as a tourist or a resident.
Currently, space travel is prohibitively expensive, but as rocket technology matures and feasibility improves, it could drop to a few hundred dollars, he added.
Three American space-tech companies, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, managed their first space-tourism flights in 2021.
Chandna and Dhaka begin working on a plan to develop a reusable rocket and space capsule to carry humans into space.
Chandana believes that the space tourism industry is already growing in the US, but India could emerge as the second largest player in the near future, beating Europe and even China.
He expects a space tourism industry to take off in India in the next 10 years and “in the next 20 years everyone will travel to space”.
Skyroot wants to develop reusable rockets in the next 5-8 years, followed by human capsules. Chandana said such rockets would be enormous, weighing hundreds of tonnes and taller than a 30-storey building, the TOI report added.
But he added that the rocket launch would be the first step towards developing reusable rockets, and only then would the company be able to develop human capsules, which require complex life support systems.
Sanjay Nekkanti, founder and CEO of Dhruv Space, also believes that human spaceflight from India will happen in the next 5-8 years.
The company recently launched two nano satellites on the Indian Space Research Organizations (ISRO) PSLV C54 launch vehicle on November 26.
Nekkanti told TOI that his company has already submitted some proposals to ISRO The company is currently working on two multiple payload platforms – ‘P-30’, a 30-kg satellite and ‘P-90’, a 90-kg.
He says the pole could house some critical technology related to human spaceflight programs, such as solar arrays and communications systems.
Skyroute has planned missions starting with the proposed launch of Vikram-1 in October 2023, Vikram-2 in mid-2023 and Vikram-3 by late 2024.
Dhruva is currently looking for investment. It wants to raise $20-25 million to build infrastructure to launch satellites up to 100 kilograms.
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