Bengaluru based space technology startups Bellatrix Aerospace and Skyroot Aerospace have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ferry small satellites into multiple orbits. The Skyroot Aerospace's Vikram rocket will be launched by Bellatrix Aerospace, which is designing a vehicle that will act as a "taxi in space" The space vehicle from Bellatrix is scheduled to launch into the lower orbit of the Earth in 2023. Its "taxi in space" will allow small satellites to ride and drop each of them to their intended space slots, reported the Economic Times.

In an official statement, the two companies said, "In simple terms, it is like a taxi in space to take satellites to their operational orbits. Skyroot and Bellatrix plan to have the first mission of a Vikram launcher with an Orbital Transfer Vehicle by 2023."

Satellite Launch Rocket GSAT
The Ariane-5 rocket, with Vietnam's VINASAT-1 and Brazil's Star One C2 satellites attached, takes off at a spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. [Representational Image]Reuters File

Bellatrix second company in the world to develop OTV

To navigate satellites in orbit, Bellatrix has developed electric as well as chemically driven engines or thrusters. After US-based Momentus, which is awaiting approval in the United States, Bellatrix is the second company in the world to develop an orbital transfer vehicle (OTV).

"We are confident that this partnership will help us serve complex mission requirements and at the same time reduce the cost of access to space. The increasing demand for timely satellite constellation deployment in different orbits and on rideshare missions has not only made Orbital Transfer Vehicles (OTV) attractive but also necessary," Yourstory quoted Rohan Muralidhar, CEO of Bellatrix Aerospace as saying.

CMS-01 before the launch on Thursday, Dec 17, 2020. It's the first of CMS scheme of communications satellites by ISRO [Representational Image]IANS

Meanwhile, by end of this year, Skyroot, established by former Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientists in 2018, is likely to launch its Vikram rocket. Vikram is named after the father of India's Space Program. Last year, Skyroot successfully tested its upper stage engine Raman and solid fuel demonstrator Kalam-5. Bellatrix and Skyroot also have collaborations with Dhruva Space, the Bengaluru-based space services provider.

With the announcement of new space technology reforms by ISRO and the government to support the private space technology ecosystem in India, numerous players are taking advantage of the opportunity to strengthen the sector.