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ET Startup Awards 2020: Bellatrix Aerospace wins the Best on Campus awardPortfolio

Bellatrix Aerospace, founded by Rohan Ganapathy and Yashas Karanam, is the first startup in India that has begun working on technology development with the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) incubated startup is also the only domestic enterprise working on electric propulsion, key to replacing conventional engines on satellites. These manoeuvre the satellites in orbit. For decades, the engines have been powered by hydrazine, a toxic and carcinogenic chemical that requires very sensitive handling. The alternative is electric propulsion–Hall effect thrusters with origins in Russia and gridded ion thrusters from the US, both of which use the expensive inert gas xenon.

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