Bengaluru: After two months of hard work, Chennai-based space startup Agnikul Cosmos has launched the country’s first and only private space platform in Sriharikota.
Agnikula’s infrastructure includes a launch pad and mission control center 4 kilometers away, both at ISRO’s facilities on an island off the coast of Chennai.
The space platform was designed by Agnikul, took two months to build and is part of a memorandum of understanding signed between ISRO and Agnikul (among other space startups) under the first set of support projects under the new regulatory body IN-SPACe for private companies from ISRO.
It is currently capable of firing Agnikul’s Agnibaan missile.
“We are aiming to launch by the end of December this year,” founder and CEO Srinath Ravichandran told ThePrint. The missile will be launched through a mobile pod called Dhanush.
The flight will feature the nation’s first fully 3D-printed rocket engine.
Agnikul will still assist ISRO in flight safety, range safety and launch area operations, Ravichandran added. The launch pad is designed specifically for liquid-stage vehicles and is only capable of launching smaller Agnibaan-class launchers.
The facility was inaugurated on November 25 by ISRO Chairman S. Somanath. Besides the Agnikul team, several senior officials of ISRO including Directors of VSSC, SDC SHAR, LPSC attended the ceremony.
Agnikul Cosmos was founded in 2017 and was incubated at IIT-Madras. It was among the first group of startups to sign MoUs with ISRO in December 2020 to access its facilities and expertise through IN-SPACe.
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