Agnikul Cosmos has set up India’s first private space vehicle launchpad at Sriharikota.
- The facility, which was designed by Agnikul and executed in support with ISRO and IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Center) has two sections to it —
- the Agnikul launchpad (ALP) and
- the Agnikul mission control center (AMCC).
- All critical systems connecting these two sections, which are 4 km away from each other, are redundant to ensure 100% operationality during countdown.
- The launchpad is specifically built keeping in mind the necessity to support liquid stage controlled launches, while also addressing the need for ISRO’s range operations team to monitor key flight safety parameters during launches.
- Additionally, it has the ability to, as necessary, share data and other critical information with ISRO’s Mission Control Center.
- Agnikul’s first launch, which will be a controlled and guided mission, a vertical launch, using its patented engine will happen from this launchpad.
- The mission will be a technology demonstrator that will mirror Agnikul’s orbital launch but at a reduced scale.
- Agnibaan — Agnibaan is Agnikul’s highly customisable, two-stage launch vehicle, capable of taking up to 100 kg payload to orbits around 700 km high (low Earth orbits) and enables plug-and-play configuration.
- Agnilet — Agnilet is the world’s first single-piece 3-D printed engine fully designed and manufactured in India and was successfully test-fired in early 2021, making Agnikul the first company in the country to test its engines at ISRO. Agnibaan and Agnilet will be used in the Agnikul’s first launch.
About Agnikul —
- It was founded in 2017 by Srinath Ravichandran, Moin SPM and Professor S.R. Chakravarthy from IIT Madras. Agnikul is an IIT Madras incubated startup.
- It became the first Indian company to sign an agreement with ISRO in December 2020.
- The agreement signed under the IN-SPACe initiative sanctioned Agnikul access to the Indian space agency’s expertise and facilities to build Agnibaan and its launchpads.