Indian firm Skyroot Aerospace recently unveiled its indigenously-built Vikram-1 rocket.
Why in News?
- Planned to be launched in early 2024, Vikram-I will be Skyroot's second rocket, after the successful launch of the Vikram-S rocket on November 18 last year, when the space start-up became the first company to launch a private rocket from the ISRO’s launch centre in Sriharikota.
About Vikram-1 Rocket
- Vikram-1, named after the father of India’s space programme, Vikram Sarabhai, is a multi-stage launch vehicle with a capacity to place around 300 kg payloads in low-earth orbit.
- It has been built by Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace, a space startup.
- It is an all-carbon-fibre-bodied rocket that can place multiple satellites into orbit.
- Being a solid-fuelled rocket and using relatively simpler technologies would mean that launching this vehicle would require minimal infrastructure and that the rocket can be assembled and launched within 24hours from any site.
What is Low Earth Orbit (LEO)?
- A low Earth orbit (LEO) is, as the name suggests, an orbit that is relatively close to Earth’s surface.
- It is normally at an altitude of less than 1000 km but could be as low as 160 km above Earth, which is low compared to other orbits but still very far above Earth’s surface.
- By comparison, most commercial aeroplanes do not fly at altitudes much greater than approximately 14 km, so even the lowest LEO is more than ten times higher than that.
- The majority of satellites are to be found in LEO, as is the International Space Station (ISS).
- In order to remain in this orbit, a satellite has to travel at around 17,500 miles per hour (7.8 kilometers per second), at which speed it takes around 90 minutes to complete an orbit of the planet.
- LEO’s close proximity to Earth makes it useful for several reasons. For example, it is the orbit most commonly used for satellite imaging, as being near the surface allows it to take images of higher resolution.
Q1) What is the International Space Station (ISS)?
The International Space Station is a large spacecraft in orbit around Earth. It serves as a home where crews of astronauts and cosmonauts live. The space station is also a unique science laboratory. Several nations worked together to build and use the space station. The space station is made of parts that were assembled in space by astronauts. It orbits Earth at an average altitude of approximately 250 miles. It travels at 17,500 mph. This means it orbits Earth every 90 minutes.