According to the founders of Skyroot Aerospace, India launched plans for the first private space startup to put a satellite into orbit in 2023. It expects to do at half of the cost of established launch companies.
Skyroot, a Hyderabad-based company, is backed by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund. According to GIC, it has raised $68 million which will help to fund its next two launches as Skyrocket has been in contact with more than 400 potential customers.
Thousands of remote satellite launches are prepared in coming years as corporations build out networks to provide broadband assistance like SpaceX’s Starlink and to power applications like tracking supply chains or monitoring offshore oil rigs.
With this, Skyroot will face both established and upcoming rocket launch rivals that are too set to reduce costs. Some of them are :
1. Startup Galactic Energy in China has put up five satellites into orbit last week in its fourth booming launch.
2. Space One in Japan, backed by Canon Electronics and IHI Corporation, has intended to launch 20 small rockets per year.
However, Skyroot is positive and ready for the competition because of the positive test results. Recently, Skyroot launched a test rocket that is expected to bring down the cost of a launch by 50% as compared to other launchers such as Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit and California-based Rocket Lab USA Inc.
According to Pawan Chandana, one of the co-founders of Skyroot said, he is expecting an overflow in demand for the company’s launch services if it demonstrates itself with launches fixed for the following year.
“Most of these customers have been building constellations and will be launching them in the next five years,” he said.
Moreover, the Indian government has increased India’s share of the global space launch market from 1% and has given investors hope that Skyroot and other startups have government approval for their measures.
“Three or four months back when we were talking to investors, one of the biggest questions they asked was if the government was supporting us,” Skyroot co-founder Bharath Daka told Reuters.
India unlocked the door to private space corporations in 2020 with a regulatory overhaul and a fresh agency to strengthen private-sector launches.
Chandana and Daka believe the per-kilogram launch expense for a satellite can be reduced to nearly $10, from thousands of dollars currently, a stretch mark that could end the economics of space commerce and one that draws motivation from their idol: Elon Musk.
“SpaceX is a symbol of great innovation and great market validation,” said Chandana, who added they have not had the chance to speak to Musk.
“Right now, we think he’s probably busy running Twitter.”