The Indian space sector is completely controlled by the government of India. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is a department under the Prime Minister’s Office. All the scientific and technical development that have happened in the sector were controlled by the government and ISRO. Though private industry manufactured components and systems for the ISRO, the integration was their responsibility.

Come 2020, with the opening up of the space sector for the private sector, Hyderabad based startup Skyroot Aerospace has developed its first upper-stage rocket engine. This engine has been named after the Indian Nobel Laurette CV Raman and is called Raman. The engine is capable of multi starts and hence can be used to place a number of satellites into orbit.

Image Courtesy Skyroot Aerospace

The Raman engine is capable of placing satellites weighing between 250 and 700 Kg in orbit. The Raman engine is completely 3D printed. As a result, it weighs 50% lesser than a similar conventional bi-propellant liquid fuel rocket engine. Also, due to 3D printing techniques, the engine has 80% less components and a shorter lead time.

India is positioning itself as a preferred destination for launching small satellites offering a value for money launch service using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

Skyroot Aerospace has been founded by ex-ISRO scientists Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka. The company intends to build a family if rockets for launching small satellites weighing up to 700kgs. The first such rocket is expected to be ready for launch by 2021. These rockets would be named after Vikram Sarabhai, the father of Indian Space Exploration.