Space Startup Agnikul Succeeds in Rocket Launch

Agnikul Cosmos, a Chennaibased company, successfully launched its Agnibaan SOrTeD rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota .Read more....
Space Startup Agnikul Succeeds in Rocket Launch

In a significant milestone for India’s private space industry, Chennai-based startup Agnikul Cosmos successfully launched its Agnibaan Sub Orbital Technological Demonstrator (SOrTeD) rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

The launch, which took place at 8:12 am today (30 May-Thursday), marks India’s first launch from a private launch pad and the world’s first single-piece 3D printed engine designed and built indigenously.

ISRO Hails Agnikul Cosmos:

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) congratulated Agnikul Cosmos on the successful launch, calling it “a major milestone, as the first-ever controlled flight of a semi-cryogenic liquid engine realized through additive manufacturing”.

The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACE) also praised the achievement, highlighting the use of 3D manufacturing in the rocket’s construction.

Semi-Cryogenic Rocket Launch:

Agnibaan SOrTeD is a single-stage rocket powered by Agnilet semi-cryogenic engine, which is a type of rocket engine that uses a combination of liquid and gaseous propellants. These engines operate at higher temperatures compared to cryogenic engines but are cooler than the traditional liquid rocket engines.

Agnibaan, which stands 18 meters tall with a diameter of 1.3 meters and a lift-off mass of 14,000 KGs, is powered by the innovative Agni let engine – the world’s first single-unit 3D-printed engine that can be produced within three days.

The rocket executed a series of precise maneuvers during its two-minute test flight, reaching an altitude of eight KMs before splashing down in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 30 KMs from the launch pad.

Success on Fifth Attempt:

Initially scheduled for April 7, the launch had to be postponed just 129 seconds before lift-off due to technical glitches. However, in the fifth attempt, the successful launch on May 30 underscores private companies’ growing capabilities and contributions to India’s burgeoning space sector.

Agnikul Cosmos, founded in 2017 by Srinath Ravichandran, Moin SPM, and Satya Chakravarthy, became the first company in India to sign an agreement with ISRO under the IN-SPACE initiative in December 2020. This partnership has allowed the startup access to ISRO’s expertise and facilities to develop the Agnibaan rocket.

The success of the Agnibaan launch is expected to bolster global confidence in India’s private space industry and its growing capabilities, particularly in light of the recently introduced guidelines for the implementation of the Indian Space Policy 2023 by IN-SPACE and new FDI regulations.

Historical Milestone: Space Association:

“What Agnikul has achieved today is nothing short of a historical milestone since India launched its maiden rocket in 1963 from Thumba launch station,” said Lt. Gen. A.K. Bhatt (Retd.), Director General, Indian Space Association (ISPA).

He added that “Agnibaan has made many firsts, including India’s first launch from a private launch pad, the first semi-cryogenic engine-powered rocket launch, and the world’s first single-piece 3D-printed engine designed and built indigenously.”