Did you know that the sun follows a strict exercise routine? It even has a favourite exercise that it does every day without fail.
The solar cycle!
Now, enough of the space puns, and let’s get onto the serious stuff.
Space has been a very mysterious topic for generations. However, that one small step in 1969 by Neil Armstrong, was significant, a giant leap for mankind, indeed. Today, we can explore and learn new things about space almost every day.
Apart from that, space travel has also become a normalized thing that everyone can do. This all has been made possible due to the endless effort and hard work of many companies working in this industry. One such name is Skyroot Aerospace Private Limited, which is an Indian private aerospace manufacturer and commercial launch service provider, headquartered in Hyderabad, India. Today, we are going to talk about Pawan Kumar Chandana, Skyroot Aerospace founder.
Pawan Kumar Chandana is the co-founder and CEO of Skyroot Aerospace. He was born in 1991 in Hyderabad, Telangana, India. Before turning into a space entrepreneur, he pursued a B.Tech degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Kharagpur. Later, he pursued an M.Tech degree in thermal science and engineering at IIT, Kharagpur. He also has a history of working for the Indian Space program. In the year 2020, he was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list. With his company, he aims to build one of the world’s most affordable space launch vehicles, right here in India. He is a strong believer in the fact that rockets are one of the most fascinating machines that humans have built.
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He started his career in September 2012, working with Indian Space Research Organisation, publically known as ISRO, as a scientist at the rocket design specialist (VSCC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. For the five years, he was with ISRO, he worked on the GSLV Mk-II rocket, which is one of the heaviest and largest launch vehicles made in India. He also worked as a system engineer for the booster rocket for GSLV Mk-3, S2000. The last post he held before leaving ISRO was the Deputy Project Manager of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV). In June 2018, upon completing five years with ISRO he left the organisation.
Upon leaving ISRO, in July 2018 he co-founded Skyroot Aerospace. He partnered with another ISRO scientist, Naga Bharath Daka in Hyderabad, India. They were helped by Indian rocket scientists Vasudevan Gnana Gandhi, Mukesh Bansal, and Ankit Nagor, founders of Cult.fit, along with a few other businessmen to get started on their dreams of building launch vehicles. In November 2020, Skyroot Aerospace signed a memorandum with Dhruva Space, another aerospace manufacturer in India.
Skyroot Aerospace was also the first Indian startup to sign an agreement with the Department of Space, which allowed them access to facilities and expertise of ISRO, and they could test its systems and subsystems of carrier rockets. In May 2021, Skyroot Aerospace raised $11 million in Series A funding from Greenko Group, Solar Industries, Neeraj Arora who is the chief business officer of WhatsApp, founder of Cult.fit and Myntra Mukesh Bansal, Vedanshu Investments, Sutton Capital, and many more.
This was the brief journey of how Skyroot Aerospace founder, Pawan Kumar Chandana realised his dream of manufacturing the world’s most affordable launch vehicles in India.