Hyderabad-based space tech startup Skyroot Aerospace and Bengaluru-based small satellite maker Bellatrix Aerospace have signed a partnership to share and cross-leverage each company’s technology platforms for space taxi launches by 2023.
The two spacetech startups will work together on an orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) by 2023 using ISRO’s Vikram launch vehicle. Skyroot’s upper stage rocket engine capabilities will be integrated with Bellatrix’s orbital transfer vehicles to transport satellites, cargo or supplies into space.
Cofounder of Skyroot, Naga Bharath Daka told Business Standard that this collaboration will give them an additional boost to enhance launch capabilities to meet specialised customer requirements.
Bellatrix founder Rohan Muralidhar added that this partnership will help the company deliver complex mission requirements, thereby reducing time and cost of access to space. Further, he said that the increasing demand for timely satellite communication deployment in different orbits and on rideshare missions has made orbital transfer vehicles attractive.
This development comes to light after Skyroot Aerospace, in December 2020, successfully test-fired a solid propulsion rocket engine named Kalam-5, the first of its five Kalam-series rocket engines, and upper stage rocket engine named Raman in August 2020.
Started by ex-ISRO scientists, Daka and Pawan Kumar Chandana in 2018, Skyroot is known for building small satellite launch vehicles (SSLV) for small satellite. Backed by Curefit cofounder Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, the company till date has raised $2.4 Mn in funding.
Skyroot was also selected in Inc42’s list of 30 startups to watch in August 2019.
Bengaluru-based Bellatrix, on the other hand, was founded by Yashas Karanam and Muralidhar in 2015. The startup works on advanced in-space propulsion systems and rocket propulsion technologies, making space accessible and affordable for all. It is also specialised in developing micro and nano satellites.
In June 2019, the company had raised $3 Mn in a Pre-Series A round led by IDFC-Parampara, StartupXseed, Karsemven Fund (KITVEN) and Survam Partners (Suman Kant Munjal Family office) at a post-money valuation of $10 Mn. It has also been backed by Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone.