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'Space taxi' for satellites? Two Indian startups sign pact to build vehicle

Space technology startup Bellatrix Aerospace, which is creating a vehicle that will work as "taxi in space", will launch on the Vikram rocket of Skyroot Aerospace

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | February 9, 2021 | Updated 16:21 IST
'Space taxi' for satellites? Two Indian startups sign pact to build vehicle
Since India opened up the space sector for private players, over 50 startups have emerged which are building rockets, satellites

Space technology startup Bellatrix Aerospace has partnered with its peer Skyroot Aerospace to ferry small satellites into multiple orbits.

Bellatrix Aerospace, which is creating a vehicle that will work as "taxi in space", will launch on the Vikram rocket of Skyroot Aerospace.

Bellatrix's space vehicle is expected to launch to the lower orbit of the earth in 2023. Its "taxi in space" will offer ridesharing for small satellites and drop each one of the passengers to their intended slots in space, Yashas Karanam, co-founder of Bellatrix said in a report in the Economic Times

Bellatrix has built electric as well as chemically powered engines or thrusters to manoeuvre satellites in space. Founded in 2015, Bellatrix is the second company in the world building an orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) after US-based Momentus, which is awaiting approval in the United States.

Last week, the startup also signed a deal with SatSure to power its fleet of remote sensing satellites.

On the other hand, Skyroot, founded by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists in 2018, is expected to launch its rocket Vikram, by December this year. Vikram is named after the father of the space programme Vikram Sarabhai.

The National Award-winning startup, Skyroot successfully tested its upper stage engine Raman and Solid fuel demonstrator Kalam-5 last year.

Bellatrix and Skyroot have partnerships with Bengaluru-based space services provider Dhruva Space as well.

Since India opened up the space sector for private players, over 50 startups have emerged which are building rockets, satellites and offering services to local as well as global customers.


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