India's maiden private rocket, Vikram-S carrying three satellites successfully lifted off from the Indian Space Research Organisation's launchpad at Sriharikota.
The vehicle is named as a tribute to the father of India's space programme, Vikram Sarabhai.
The maiden mission of Skyroot Aerospace, named 'Prarambh' (the beginning), will carried payloads of two Indian and one foreign customers.
Developed by four-year-old startup Skyroot Aerospace, today's event marked the private sector's maiden foray into the launch vehicle segment, after the space segment was thrown open to private players in 2020.
The 6-metre tall Vikram-S will soar to an altitude of around 81 km after its launch from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, carrying two domestic payloads and one from a foreign customer.
The launch was scheduled at 11:30 am, Skyroot Aerospace CEO and co-founder Pawan Kumar Chandana had told reporters.
"The Vikram-S rocket is a single-stage sub-orbital launch vehicle which would carry three customer payloads and help test and validate the majority of the technologies in the Vikram series of space launch vehicles," Naga Bharath Daka, Chief Operating Officer of Skyroot Aerospace, said in a statement.
Spacekidz, a Chennai-based aerospace startup, will fly 'Fun-Sat', a 2.5 kg payload developed by students from India, the US, Singapore and Indonesia on the sub-orbital flight on board Vikram-S.
“We want the children to learn about conducting experiments in space. It is a simple payload developed by grandparents with their grandchildren,” Srimathy Kesan, CEO of Spacekidz, said.
Based in Hyderabad, Skyroot was the first startup to sign a memorandum of understanding with ISRO for launching its rockets.
It aims to disrupt entry barriers to cost-efficient satellite launch services and space-flight by advancing its mission to make spaceflights affordable, reliable and regular for all, the statement said.
Set up in 2018, Skyroot has successfully built and tested India's first privately developed cryogenic, hypergolic-liquid, and solid fuel-based rocket engines using advanced composite and 3D-printing technologies.
Skyroot Aerospace successfully raised USD 51 million through a Series-B financing round, in September this year. It had raised USD 11 million in Series-A capital raise in July last year.
(With PTI Inputs)