Agnikul Cosmos Moving Closer To Maiden Suborbital Flight From Its Own Launch Pad At Sriharikota
Agnibaan SOrTeD is a single-stage launch vehicle powered by Agnikul's patented Agnilet engine.
On its first flight, the rocket will take off vertically and follow a predetermined trajectory, executing a series of precisely planned manoeuvres.
Agnikul Cosmos, a space technology startup based at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (Chennai), is inching closer to its maiden controlled suborbital flight.
In an X post, the Agnikul said it took its launch vehicle, called Agnibaan SOrTeD (suborbital technology demonstrator), to its launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre-Sriharikota Range (SDSC-SHAR) on Tuesday (15 August) to begin integration checks.
Agnikul has its own launch pad and mission control centre within the Sriharikota facility, inaugurated by the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, S Somanath, in November last year.
Agnibaan SOrTeD is a single-stage launch vehicle powered by Agnikul's patented Agnilet engine. This semi-cryogenic engine is entirely 3D-printed, in one shot and as a single piece, and has a 6 kN capacity.
Agnilet was built at Agnikul’s Rocket Factory 1 — India's first such rocket facility where they can 3D print and manufacture two rocket engines every week.
On its first flight, Agnibaan SOrTeD will take off vertically and follow a predetermined trajectory, executing a series of precisely planned manoeuvres.
These flight events are designed to validate key technologies crucial for the success of Agnikul's future orbital flights.
"Lastly, we are excited to be attempting this flight from our own Launchpad at Sriharikota," Agnikul said on X.
They also thanked ISRO and IN-SPACe "for their continuous encouragement and support in getting us this far."
Agnikul was the first space technology startup to sign up with ISRO, for access to its facilities and expertise, under the INSPACe initiative.
Agnikul Cosmos builds small launch vehicles for use in commercial space missions.
"The real problem in the market today is, rockets are still big, even though satellites have become small. So we wanted to build a nice, small rocket that can quickly take satellites to space," Agnikul Cosmos co-founder and chief executive Srinath Ravichandran told DD India in December 2022.
"And we are doing that with completely in-house-built technology, both designed in India and made in India," he said.
Agnikul rocket Agnibaan has the capability to launch from multiple launchports.
Earlier this year, the startup successfully completed the flight acceptance test for its Agnilet engine.
The validation of the engine also meant that Agnikul had parallely demonstrated its ability to design, manufacture, and test a rocket engine in-house.
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