We interacted with Divyanshu Poddar, Co-Founder & Head Business Development of Rocketeers to learn about journey to bringing the first solid fuel powered rocket science to the students in India. Rocketeers produces solid motor fuel powered rockets as a medium for education in the form of workshop on Model Rocketry in India.
How it all began?
Around December, 2010, me and Gagan Agrawal, my senior at college, saw videos of model rockets being made by young students and enthusiasts in the USA. As students who were working hard to become rocket scientists in one of the premiere space agencies in the world, we were both enthralled by the world of model rocketry and wanted to participate in the same. And the first hurdle that we came across was that none of the technology, materials, equipment was available in India and imports were banned. Thus began the journey of developing, building, testing and successfully flying our own model rockets and the formation of Rocketeers.
What are the challenges you faced?
When we started getting involved in various aspects of rocketry. We saw the whole thing as an hands on engineering problem. We were looking to make model rockets of our own and fly them. We were not quite sure about what exactly that would entail. However, slowly we defined our problems and the scale at which we would want to operate. As we neared to the situation where we could have reliable, self designed rockets, we realized that it was the single biggest learning experience of our lives which led to us contemplating the beginning of Rocketeers, a company which would lead to inception of Model Rocketry in India and it’s education system. This began the plethora of legal, bureaucratic, technical, financial, societal and maybe several other issues which we faced over time. We tackled everything the best we could to finally start commercial operations in may 2015.
How have you fared so far?
We are after almost 9 months of operations, a group of model rocketry enthusiasts working hard towards spreading awareness about the Indian space program and also getting students hooked to the world of Model Rocketry. We have interacted with over 12000 students in different capacities. we have taken over 10 full scale model rocketry workshops and have over 3000 successful model rocket flights. We are planning to increase our base with the release of new range model rocketry products and accessories over the next few months.
What the future holds?
We plan to expand our range of products in model rocketry, introducing not only a wide range of rockets but also several kinds of model rocket motors and electronic accessories such as igniters, launchers, payload packages to the Indian market. we also plan to expand into education using all of these products to improve the quality of technical education being imparted in schools all over the country.
For further reading, get on the blog of Rocketeers to know ‘Why teach Rocket Science to students?‘