India launches first privately made rocket

STORY: The launch is seen as a milestone in the country's effort to create a commercial space industry.

The 545-kg rocket developed by space startup Skyroot took off from the Indian space agency's launch site near Chennai. The rocket has the capability of reaching Mach 5 - five times the speed of sound.

Video footage showed the rocket taking off from the space center, leaving a plume of smoke and fire in its trail.

Hyderabad-based Skyroot, founded in 2018 and backed by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, was the first space startup to sign an agreement to use Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launch and test facilities after the government opened the door to private companies in 2020.